ACCI research promotes higher apprenticeship retention

By: Peter Anderson, Chief Executive
09 March, 2010

Australia needs to stem the flow of apprentices not completing their apprenticeships if we are to meet future skills needs, according to research currently being conducted by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI).

Australian industry needs a skilled, flexible and motivated workforce that further contributes to productivity gains and drives economic growth.

There is a great risk to Australia's future productivity during a cyclical rebound if new apprentices are not recruited and existing apprentices do not complete their trades training.

Governments and businesses must work in partnership to develop strategies that will ultimately lead to sustainable increases in apprenticeship commencements and completions.

Over the course of the last 18 months, ACCI has initiated three research projects on retaining existing apprentices, placing disengaged apprentices back into the workforce, and making apprenticeships more appealing to mature-aged Australians.

The research covers issues such as apprenticeship recruitment, employer attitudes, apprentice management, the provision of meaningful work, and making full use of information and support services.

Apprenticeship non-completions and the need to attract more mature-aged Australians to the workplace have concerned employers for many years. Rates of attrition in some trades are in excess of 50%, exacerbating skills shortages and restricting business growth.

Source: Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry