New South Wales Budget Accelerates the Service Sector

The New South Wales state budget 2015-16 aims to stimulate arts, entertainment, events, sports and tourism for Sydney and Destination NSW including regional locations.

With a targeted approach focusing on major events, projects and regions there are many opportunities for you if you are working with or in the service sector.

Consumer information

“This budget delivers $127 million in 2015-16 to support the vital work of Fair Trading including engaging with the community with over 2,000 information seminars, mainly through the agency’s flagship My Place program,” Mr Dominello said. 

The My Place program targets vulnerable consumer groups through education and compliance activities delivered directly into regional towns or suburbs.

Employment and Entrepreneurship

Whilst the unemployment rate is falling there are a number of initiatives to support employment such as the Jobs Action Plan, Small Business Employment Incentive and a Jobs of Tomorrow Scholarship Fund.

It is pleasing to increasingly see a more open minded approach to employment including entrepreneurship, technology and self-employment.

The NSW unemployment rate has been at or below the national average for 18 of the last 19 months and is expected to fall to 5½ per cent by the June quarter 2017.

As part of its Jobs for NSW initiative, the Government will:

  • extend the Jobs Action Plan until 30 June 2019
  • invest $27 million to 2018-19 to create a Small Business Employment Incentive Scheme, providing a grant of up to $2,000 to non-payroll tax paying small businesses when they hire new employees from 1 July 2015
  • establish a $25 million Jobs of Tomorrow Scholarship Fund providing 25,000 scholarships for students undertaking qualifications for technology and growth jobs
  • increase the Investment Attraction Scheme to $190 million to encourage interstate and international businesses to set up in New South Wales.

The Government introduced the Jobs Action Plan in 2011-12 which provides a $5,000 payroll tax rebate to businesses that employ new workers. The scheme was due to close to new applicants from 1 July 2015. Due to the success of the scheme with over 106,000 payroll rebate applications made over the past four years and over 21,000 of these new jobs in regional areas, the Government has extended the scheme until 30 June 2019.  To further stimulate jobs growth, the Government will spend $9 million per year from 2016-17 to 2018-19 for the Small Business Employment Incentive. From 1 July 2015, businesses in New South Wales with wages below the current payroll tax threshold of $750,000 and that employ new staff may apply for a $2,000 grant for each additional employee. The grant will be paid on the first anniversary of the hire of a new employee. A $25 million Jobs of Tomorrow Scholarship Fund will be established to provide 25,000 scholarships of $1,000 for students undertaking qualifications for technology and skills growth areas. The scholarships will be paid in two parts, $500 at the beginning and $500 at the successful completion of the course. The Government will also boost the State investment attraction schemes by $32 million to encourage interstate and international businesses to relocate to New South Wales.

International Trade and Education

There are many international opportunities with delegations, events and export partnerships,

“With one in five jobs in Australia dependent on international trade and investment, this Budget will see NSW partner with industry to develop and implement strategies to help improve our global competitiveness, grow the economy and create jobs,” Mr Ayres said.

“This includes attracting additional investment and new international businesses to NSW as a result of the Rebuilding NSW plan and turbo-charging exports through the recently-signed free trade agreements with South Korea, Japan and China.”

A bonus for the service sector the 2015-16 Budget will support:

  • $3.9 million for the NSW international trade office including $1.2 million for the expansion of the State’s international trade and investment network in priority markets;
  • $3.2 million for export and investment attraction specialists (including regional export advisers) to drive export and international investment opportunities;
  • $1.1 million for the continuing promotion of StudyNSW including enhancing the international student experience in NSW;
  • Targeted mission programs to leverage free trade agreements and increase key trade and investment opportunities for NSW promoting food and beverage, agri-business, financial services and education throughout Asia;
  • Hosting major international events in NSW including the Boao Forum for Asia Sydney conference in late July which will put the State at the centre of global discussions about Asian economic co-operation.

Sport and Recreation

For Sport and Recreation the 2015-16 Budget will see the NSW Government invest $175 million in sports and facilities across the State over the next year.  The funds will be spent on greater infrastructure and sporting programs to increase participation,

“The NSW Government is committed to engaging the sport and recreation industry through partnerships, providing grants to sporting organisations and managing Government sporting facilities,” Mr Ayres said.

Regional Development

With Sydney as the economic hub it is good to see a balance with investment in regional New South Wales,

“A further $20 million will be invested in the Regional Industries Investment Fund (RIIF) to attract companies, create new jobs and grow regional NSW, ensuring we continue to be the most diverse regional economy in the country,” Mr Barilaro said.

Major projects in the 2015-16 Budget include: 

  • $26 million over three years to help families, businesses and emergency services connect under the Mobile Black Spot initiative that will encourage telecommunication providers to invest in regional areas.
  • $31 million for new and approved applicants to be supported from the Murray Darling Economic Diversification program over 2015-16 and 2016-17.
  • The continued $110 million investment in the Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund will deliver tourism infrastructure projects to increase economic opportunities in regional NSW.
  • The NSW Cross-Border Commissioner comprehensive Business Plan for 2015-18 includes enhanced collaboration between Government, community and business, increased regional investment, and less regulatory burden on businesses.

Tourism and Events

Events provide an opportunity to showcase VET students, training outcomes, innovation and creativity,

“The NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, will administer the $176 million in 2015-16 to support tourism, major events and business events.  

“This includes $93 million to secure major arts, entertainment and sports events and $51 million to grow tourism across the State.”

Additional funding will also see Regional NSW benefit from an additional $40 million over four years to grow tourism as well as $9 million to target overseas visitors from the priority international markets identified in the Visitor Economy Industry Action Plan.

Skills and Small Business – investment in TAFE

The New South Wales government is investing in TAFE and small business,

More than $2.3 billion in vocational education and training (VET), which includes a $2 billion investment in TAFE that will build the skilled workforce of the future, Minister for Skills and Small Business John Barilaro announced today.  Mr Barilaro said small businesses will also benefit from a $14 million business package that includes the Small Biz Connect program, small business advocacy services, dispute resolution and multicultural advisors, as well as $15 million over ten years for existing lottery agents to apply for approved shop re-fits. 

“The investment in TAFE NSW represents an increase of $122 million compared to last year’s budget, which will help students get the skills they need to enter the workforce and includes a $101 million capital works program to create more modern facilities,” he said. 

The Government will also provide:

  • $48 million over four years for fee-free scholarships for 200,000 15 to 30 year olds to undertake government subsidised vocational education and training courses
  • $8 million over four years to provide viable pathways into education, training and employment for young people in regional areas.

The Government will spend around $27 million to create a new Small Business Employment Incentive Scheme for non-payroll tax paying small businesses that create new jobs.  From 1 July 2015, businesses in New South Wales with wages below the current payroll tax threshold of $750,000 may apply for a grant of up to $2,000 when they hire new employees. 

In addition this Budget includes the Reskilling NSW program for which $48 million in funding will provide fee-free scholarships to 200,000 disadvantaged young people to undertake vocational education and training certificate courses and another $8 million that will support at-risk youth in regional areas into training and employment.

In 2015-16, the Government is investing $2.3 billion in the NSW Vocational Education and Training (VET) system to help people get the skills they need to find a job and advance their careers.

The Smart and Skilled reform of the NSW VET system commenced in January 2015 and will give students the skills they need to get a job and advance their careers. The reforms include a student entitlement for courses up to Certificate III and income contingent loans for higher-level qualifications. This means the students can chose a training provider that best suits their needs.  

The Smart and Skilled Quality Framework ensures that training is relevant to jobs and workplaces, meets national standards, and gives students better information on course costs and availability.  The Smart and Skilled Skills List includes a wide range of qualifications to support the diverse skills needs of NSW employers and was developed through extensive industry and community consultation and labour market research.

It is in this portfolio that entrepreneurship should feature more strongly particularly encouraging young entrepreneurs.

Project based and regional workforce action plans will be important into the future to get the match with job opening, critical skills and capabilities, to underpin economic development, for example,

The Government’s support of the Barangaroo urban renewal project will assist in drawing tourists to Sydney when it is complete. The new residential and commercial accommodation, international hotel, shops, cafés, restaurants, cultural facilities and Foreshore Park will help make Sydney a location of choice for major events and drive growth in the NSW visitor economy.

The importance of projects like this is not lost on the State or Commonwealth governments with Senator Birmingham visiting Barangaroo today:

http://www.cpsisc.com.au/newsarticles/minister-birmingham-visits-barangaroo

All of these announcements and investment has implications for apprenticeship network providers, business and industry associations, economic development, employment services, higher education providers, group training organisations, Registered Training Organisations, schools and universities.

A new webinar series will be released shortly, with limited places and a deep analysis of the implications and opportunities for you so watch your email inbox!

July 2015

 

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