Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke today announced small businesses and their staff now have access to free business skills training thanks to a new $30 million NSW Government initiative.

Ms Cooke said the new Skills for Business program means local companies and their staff can now undertake free TAFE NSW qualifications aimed at helping small businesses grow and thrive.

“I don’t just want to see small businesses in the Cootamundra electorate survive, I want to see them thrive,” Ms Cooke said.

“As a former florist with a small staff in Young, I understand just how tough this gig can be. The government has worked with TAFE to provide an opportunity for people to upskill – completely free – and apply these skills to kick goals in their business,” she said.

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 to learn when it suits them best, with live tutorials also on offer.

Small businesses represent almost 98 per cent of all NSW businesses, employing about 1.56 million people – almost half the state’s workforce.

The TAFE NSW training would 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.

Businesses and employees throughout NSW can access the training from anywhere, 24/7, via TAFE Digital, including live tutorials with trainers and fellow participants.

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