The Department of Employment, Small Business and Training was established in December 2023.

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

Steve Koch

Steve Koch is the current acting Director-General for the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training, assuming the role from 19 December 2023. Previously, Steve has served as Associate Director-General for the Employment, Small Business and Training branch of the former DYJESBT department.

Steve is an accomplished executive, his focus is on designing and delivering employment, small business and VET funding programs, and investment in training facilities to drive outcomes for Queenslanders. Steve has played a key role in the Queensland Government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic by leading significant support initiatives, including the Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grants, online skilling and training initiatives, and the COVID-19 Cleaning Rebate.

Steve is a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion and champions these values within the department through his role as Diversity and Inclusion Champion.

Service area structure

The department's service area structure based on the 2023-24 Service Delivery Statements (SDS) (PDF, 2.1MB) as at 30 June 2023 is as follows:

Department's service areaDepartment's objectives


Connecting and supporting Queenslanders with employment programs and services
To increase employment opportunities for all Queenslanders, in particular disadvantaged cohorts.

Preparing Queensland's workforce for the demands of current and future industries.

Small Business

Connecting Queensland small business to grants and support programs
To ensure small business can seamlessly interact with government and are supported to start, grow and thrive.

Helping small businesses to start, grow and thrive.

Training and skills

Connecting Queenslanders to training and skills programs and initiatives
To regulate Queensland apprenticeships and traineeships and facilitate access to and participation in vocational education and training pathways, enabling Queenslanders to gain employment in current and future industries.

Connecting people to quality training and skills.

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.

During 2022–23, the department worked collaboratively with government and stakeholders in delivering the following government commitments:

  • worked to achieve the target of 25% of government procurement from Queensland small and medium businesses
  • provided funding for the establishment the Caloundra Business Alliance to roll out the Buy Local initiative, a Shop Caloundra EFTPOS card
  • established the Office of the Queensland Small Business Commissioner
  • developed targeted engagement strategies and re-invigorated the Queensland Small Business Advisory Council
  • developed a First Nations Training Strategy in consultation with communities to identify training gaps and deliver job-focused training to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • developed a First Nations Training Strategy in consultation with communities to identify training gaps and deliver job-focused training to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • completed stage 2 of Toowoomba TAFE's new Rural Centre of Excellence
  • constructed the Cyber Security Training Operation Centre at Mooloolaba TAFE
  • completed delivery of the fit-out of the new eco-friendly TAFE campus at Robina
  • completed upgrades to nursing and allied health facilities at Hervey Bay TAFE.

Read the September 2023 progress report on 2020 government election commitments (PDF, 1MB).

Following recent changes to departmental responsibilities, we are now the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training (DESBT). Work is underway to update our websites. Find information on youth justice.

Last updated 8 March 2024

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