I am delighted to announce local small businesses and their staff will now have access to free business skills training thanks to a new $30 million NSW Government initiative aimed at helping small businesses grow and thrive.

The new Skills for Business program means local companies and their staff can undertake free TAFE NSW qualifications in subjects including digital and financial literacy, cybersecurity and general business management.

Small businesses are the engine room of economy representing almost 98 per cent of all NSW businesses, employing about 1.56 million people – almost half the state’s workforce.

We understand running a small business can be incredible rewarding, but also incredibly tough, and this initiative is about giving small business owners the very best chance of not just staying in business, but taking their business to the next level. It’s also an opportunity to invest in the people – the skills, careers and wellbeing of the men and women who run the businesses, and work in them.

We need a workforce that will continue to underpin NSW as the nation’s leading economy, and the strongest workforce is one that’s continually learning, upskilling, and keeping up to date with new technologies.

Skills for Business brings together TAFE NSW and other NSW Government business support services including Business Connect, to give small business owners and their staff a chance to undertake fully-subsidised training in courses including financial planning, taxation, risk management, legal decisions, using spreadsheets, social media tools, website creation and maintenance, creating an e-business, and cybersecurity.

The free TAFE courses will be delivered online, with a face-to-face component, to allow small businesses and employees to learn when it suits them best, with live tutorials also on offer.

The TAFE NSW training will be open to all small to medium sized businesses operating within NSW with up to 199 employees, but priority will be given to businesses with fewer than 19 employees.

For more information visit: www.tafensw.edu.au/skillsforbusiness