Business welcomes regional apprenticeship pilot; more action needed to support national apprenticeship growth

31 Oct 2018 |

Australia’s largest and most representative business network, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement to support new apprenticeship commencements in rural and regional Australia.

“We support action by Government to stimulate growth in apprenticeships and traineeships. The apprenticeship model, combining employment experience with structured training, remains one of the most successful ways for people to acquire skills,” Australian Chamber CEO, James Pearson, said today.

“It is a substantial commitment for a small business in regional Australia to take on an apprentice. Apart from the wage cost, there is a period of time early in the apprenticeship term where the employee requires close supervision and the productive work value is not high. The wage subsidies in the proposed pilot address this front-end cost to those businesses who otherwise would not be in a position to offer employment to a job seeker.

“Alongside this pilot, the Federal Government still has much work to do in finalising arrangements for the Skilling Australians Fund, as the key vehicle to support apprenticeship growth. We urge the Government to work closely with the State and Territory Governments through this process, and also more broadly on Vocational Education and Training (VET), to ensure vocational training can be more strongly supported in the long term.

“Today the National Centre for Vocational Education Research also released new figures on government-funded VET. It is depressing to see, yet again, a decline in the number of students funded by governments to undertake vocational training. The figures show, there are over 40,000 less students being funded than there were four years ago, including over 20,000 less 15-19 year olds.

“Action by all governments to address the falling investment in VET is urgently needed.

“We also call specifically on the Federal Government to ensure that monies not yet allocated in the Skilling Australians Fund, remain invested in apprenticeships and we look forward to working with the Government on arrangements that can have a broad impact on apprentice numbers.  Apprenticeships and traineeships are particularly important in offering ideal pathways for young people from school to work, and are a key part of developing the future workforce.”

Duncan Bremner

Director - Public Affairs and Advocacy

P  |  0448 822 666

E  |  [email protected]

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