The federal, state and territory governments have agreed to jointly invest $80 million into a new infection control training fund, enabling the rollout of infection control short courses developed by the new Australian Industry Skills Emergency Response Sub-Committee in response to COVID-19.
Around 80,000 workers across industries including retail, food handling, and transport and logistics are expected to receive this fee-free or low-cost training to support the reopening of thousands of businesses nationwide.
Participants are said to learn a range of skills, including hand hygiene practices; effective surface cleaning; use of personal protective equipment; disposal of contaminated waste; hazard identification, control and reporting; appropriate protocols and responses in the event of an incident; and knowledge regarding the basis of infection and transmission.
Additional training will also be available to increase infection control skill levels in sectors such as aged and disability care.
Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business Michaelia Cash said the nationally accredited training is vital to ensure customer-facing workplaces can reopen safely and as quickly as possible.
“This infection control training is designed to empower workers by teaching them the skills and knowledge they need to decrease risk and transmission of infection while carrying out their daily duties,” she said.
“The trained workers will help to inspire confidence in their customers while also helping to minimise the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus as Australia reopens businesses, rebuilds the workforce and positions for strong and rapid economic recovery.”
The training will be delivered through the state and territory governments and will be available by 1 July 2020.