The Department of Employment, Small Business and Training was established in December 2017 with responsibilities drawn from other agencies.

The department recognises the important relationship between employment outcomes, strong small businesses and a skilled workforce to the wellbeing of Queenslanders and their communities.

Our Director-General

Warwick AgnewWarwick Agnew
Director-General, Department of Employment, Small Business and Training

Warwick Agnew was appointed as Director-General of the department in November 2020 following an extensive career and experience in both the private and public sector.

Prior to joining the department, Warwick held the position of Director-General, Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs and has direct experience in social and economic policy issues facing all areas of Queensland.

Throughout his career Warwick has led social and economic infrastructure projects, economic analysis and policy, legislative reform, financial and commercial procurement and corporate finance advisory services.

Warwick’s private sector experience includes commercial project development and senior advisory roles for global companies servicing resources, energy, industrial, infrastructure, property and defence sectors. He has also served on key government boards including Queensland Treasury Corporation Capital Markets Board, the Long-Term Asset Allocation Board and the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority.

Service area structure

The department's service area structure as at 30 June 2019 is as follows:

Service areaObjectiveDescription
Employment To increase Queenslanders' participation in the labour market This service area focuses on increasing employment opportunities for Queenslanders, in particular disadvantaged cohorts. This area undertakes both policy and strategic engagement activities, as well as the delivery of key government employment programs
Small Business Services To ensure small businesses can seamlessly interact with government and are better supported to start, grow and employ This service area focuses on products and services that are delivered to small business to better enable them to grow and make it easier to interact with government, including:
  • enhancing the capacity of business to engage with markets, attract investors, navigate the business/regulatory environment and access tools, resources and expertise to grow and succeed
  • supporting the creation of new businesses, helping existing businesses to work smarter and be more resilient and assisting businesses with high growth aspirations to grow and employ through the delivery of targeted grants programs
  • engaging other business-focused government agencies to facilitate the delivery of online services for small business via Business Queensland
  • proactively employing strategies to streamline regulation to make it easier to do business
  • assisting women, Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples to start and grow businesses
Training and Skills To skill Queenslanders for jobs and secure employment outcomes Improving the skills profile of Queensland through delivery of a diverse and inclusive vocational education and training programs that delivers on industry skills demands of today and the future and supports publicly funded training providers to deliver high quality training

The department is responsible for supporting the Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development. In supporting the Minister, the department is maintaining high-quality services and focusing on implementing the government's objectives for the community and its government commitments.

In 2019–20, the department delivered the following 5 government commitments and worked collaboratively with government and stakeholders to implement these commitments:

  1. invested up to $10 million for the training needs of the Redlands TAFE campus
  2. established small business consultation panels that provide government departments with easier access to experienced small business owners and operators when developing policy and legislation
  3. oversaw the work of the Better Regulation Taskforce to continue to create a balanced regulatory environment for small business
  4. developed a strategy for vocational education and training (VET) in Queensland to ensure Queenslanders have the right skills to work in priority jobs across a wide range of industries
  5. ensured female business owners are supported, encouraged and recognised to start and grow their own businesses by engaging and partnering with women across the state to better understand their needs, and to provide resources, events, networking, development and partnership opportunities to help women-led businesses start, grow and employ.

Last updated 24 November 2020

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