As we approach the middle of another busy and challenging year, one thing we can probably all agree on is the ongoing demand for great educators. Early childhood education and care is nothing without the people who work to provide the next generation with a great start in life, and with this in mind, you want to ensure you recruit the best possible team.
You might already be aware of – and even utilised – schemes like JobTrainer and the Boosting Apprenticeships Commencement wage subsidy (BAC), but it’s worth thinking about how you might also take advantage of wage subsidies available under the Jobs Victoria Fund. Wage subsidies of up to $20,000 per employee are available now to support you to expand and improve your team.
What is the Jobs Victoria Fund?
The Jobs Victoria Fund is designed to support and employ people most affected by the pandemic. For early childhood education and care providers, utilising this funding might look like hiring new trainees, expanding your team, or increasing hours for those you already employ.
Wage subsidies of up to $20,000 are available to support the cost of employing someone for 12 months, and the number of subsidies you can apply for will depend on the size of your business.
Because this wage subsidy is designed to support people most affected by the economic impacts of the pandemic, to qualify for funding an employee must identify with one or more priority groups.
This funding promotes equity, and at least 60% of jobs will go to women, reflecting the ongoing adverse impact the pandemic has had on women’s employment opportunities.
Who is eligible?
To be eligible, there are a few boxes you’ll need to check. Firstly, any employee to receive a wage subsidy must be employed for at least 12 months on a permanent or fixed-term basis.
Jobs must be for at least 19 hours per week – although workers with a disability or carer responsibilities will be eligible for decreased hours.
The important thing to consider is that this fund is designed to support priority groups, which means that eligible employees must come from one of these categories:
- Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people
- Jobseekers registered with a Jobs Victoria mentor service.
- people unemployed for six months or more
- newly arrived migrants from non-English speaking backgrounds
- women aged 45 years and over
- people seeking asylum/refugees
- people with disability
- single parents
- men and people who do not identify as a woman aged 45 years and over
- young people aged under 25
- people previously or currently employed under the Working for Victoria initiative
If you’re still unsure whether your business qualifies for funding, the Jobs Victoria Fund website has a handy questionnaire you can complete in under 5 minutes in order to check your business’s eligibility.
Investing in our shared future
There can be no doubt as to how much we need quality educators right now. Early learning is a pivotal stage in a child’s development which sets them up for life, and as the early learning sector continues to grow, we want to do what we can to ensure it’s filled with the best and brightest employees.
Shaping a strong team of educators can be challenging, because early childhood education and care requires a unique temperament and set of skills. Quality educators:
- assist children to develop important skills like emotional intelligence and communication, which will contribute to positive relationships throughout their lives.
- focus on pedagogy, giving kids strong foundations for further education
- encourage creativity, curiosity, and artistic expression
- play games which help children develop skills like teamwork and conflict resolution
- nurture children’s interests and abilities
When children have all these tools at their disposal, the positive effects of learning ripple out through the community. That’s why giving children the best start in life is a way of investing in our shared future.
How traineeships can benefit your business
Recovering from the pandemic is a slow road, one which has highlighted staff shortages and recruitment challenges in the early childhood education and care sector. Government funding initiatives like the Jobs Victoria Fund, BAC and JobTrainer are designed to make the process a little easier.
In education we often default to thinking that those with more experience will be better employees, but there are just as many reasons to hire trainees. In fact, trainees can be a huge asset to your business.
Trainees bring energy and enthusiasm to the workplace, as well as valuable skills developed on-the-job. When you invite aspiring educators to join your team, you’re ensuring your workers not only have the practical skills required for the role, but also the right attitude for the job.
Let’s work together
Practical Outcomes has strong connections to the early learning sector. Our traineeships and courses are designed with employability and sector knowledge in mind, and it’s important to us that we continue to make valuable contributions to early childhood education and care.
A few things you can expect from us:
- We spend time consulting with sector experts
- Our dedicated trainers support learners with first-hand knowledge and experience
- We stay up-to-date with the latest developments in pedagogy and early learning, and our courses reflect this commitment to progress
Our goal, as always, is to ensure learners continue to get a relevant future-facing education which reflects and supports the needs of the sector.
We can help you identify solutions to any demands your business might be facing, like needing a steady stream of qualified workers. It is our goal to cultivate and encourage a workforce of positive, skilled and engaging educators who will help shape our children’s futures.
To find out more about what we do, take a look at the traineeships and courses we offer in early childhood education and care.