Over 400 SA businesses and industry sectors have responded to register their interest in ‘COVID clean’ infection control training for frontline workers and staff as they prepare to reopen safely.

On the back of last week’s announcement that over 5,000 ‘COVID clean’ training places would be made available, the state government has moved swiftly to initially engage three training providers to rollout the ‘COVID clean’ toolkit.

“In partnership with the training sector we have acted quickly to deliver this training so that South Australians can have confidence that the businesses they visit are able to open in a ‘COVID safe’ way,” Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni said.

“SA’s renowned hospitality sector is one industry that is set to benefit from the training, which will help people get back to work in a safe and timely manner, and give South Australian consumers peace of mind that their favourite eatery has health and safety as their top priority.

“Workers in supervisor roles in hospitality for example will be able to answer customer questions and put their minds at ease following completion of this training.

“My Department has sought interest from training providers to deliver this program, with Time Education and Training and Open Colleges from the private training sector and TAFE SA as the public provider, set to deliver training from next week.

“There will be a focus on the hospitality, food handling, retail and tourism sectors, as we look to get as many businesses as possible back up and running in the next few weeks.

“Other sectors will include transport and logistics, and within the health sector more broadly so that we can minimise the risk of spreading infection in the South Australian community.

“As South Australians return in greater numbers to their local café, restaurant or pub, they want to have confidence that the premises they are visiting is doing all they can to minimise the risk of spreading infection – this training will go a long way to instilling that confidence in the community.”

Time Education and Training CEO John Heidt said: “We are delighted to be supporting the South Australian and Australian governments in delivering this training, particularly for workers in the transport and logistics, retail, and food preparation sectors, so that customers can be confident they are in a clean and safe environment.”

TAFE SA Chief Executive David Coltman said: “We’re really pleased to be supporting the South Australian business community to get back up and running with the delivery of this training program. Our expert teaching staff have experience in delivering this specialist training which will ensure businesses have the confidence to operate while following the necessary safety requirements.”

Open Colleges CEO Alexis Watt said: “Open Colleges is Australia's largest and oldest distance, online and blended learning provider, and we're excited to deliver this training across the State to help get South Australia’s economy up and running again as safely as possible.”

Participants will learn a range of skills, including: hand hygiene practices; effective surface cleaning; use of personal protective equipment (PPE); disposal of contaminated waste; hazard identification, control and reporting; appropriate protocols and responses in the event of an incident; and knowledge regarding the basis of infection and transmission.

Up to 5,500 training places for this accredited training will be available in SA, with funding from the federal government’s $80 million Infection Control Training Fund including matched funding of $2.67 million from the state government.