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 based on the 2022–23 Service Delivery Statements (SDS) (PDF, 1.6MB) as at 30 June 2022 is as follows:

Department's service areaDepartment's objectives


Connecting and supporting Queenslanders with employment programs and services
To increase employment opportunities for 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 2021–22, 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 Small Business Commissioner
  • developed targeted engagement strategies and re-invigorated the 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
  • 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 2022 program report on 2020 government election commitments (PDF, 1MB).

Last updated 21 December 2022

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