Published on Aug 10, 2015

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Value-adding food and agribusiness and advanced manufacturing are two industries in line for a share of more than 250,000 training places thanks to the Federal Government’s Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda.

Funded through the Agenda’s Industry Skills Fund, eligible businesses can take advantage of a range of support services including:

  • Training grant co-contributions
  • Business growth opportunities
  • Skills advice


Kurri Kurri Business Chamber President, Rod Doherty said the Fund presented an excellent opportunity for local businesses.

“Value-adding food and agribusiness and advanced manufacturing are industries in which Cessnock excels,” Mr Doherty said.

“Focusing on innovation and upskilling our local workforce in these areas can position Cessnock as competitive market leader and add strength and sustainability to our economy.”

Service delivery contracts were awarded to six business advisory organisations. Fund contractor Ai Group Chief Executive Innes Willox said upskilling the Australian workforce will allow industry to leverage new growth opportunities.

“Digitisation and technology are disrupting business models, supply chains and customer behaviour,” Mr Willox said.

“The Australian workforce needs higher order skills to innovate and take advantage of new growth opportunities arising from these changes.”

The Fund is targeted primarily at helping micro businesses and small and medium enterprises looking to innovate and diversify outside of day-to-day operations.

In addition to agribusiness and manufacturing, priority industries identified include medical technologies and pharmaceuticals; mining equipment, technology and services; oil, gas and energy resources; and enabling technologies and services.

Mr Willox said the Fund’s focus was in line with Australia’s vocational education and training system reforms and would deliver the skills employers and the economy need.

“This new support will focus on developing critical workforce skills to ensure Australia’s businesses are globally competitive into the future.”

Find out more about the Industry Skills Fund by watching the video below, or visit