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New focus on apprenticeships and traineeships as opportunities grow

21 June, 2018

New South Wales is poised to drive growth in apprenticeship and traineeship numbers, with areas of high demand like the construction industry, food services, and allied health likely to benefit most.

Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills Karen Andrews MP today visited Chambers Apprenticeship Support Australia to help mark 20 years of Australian Government support for apprentices and to acknowledge the enormous contribution that apprenticeships have made to Australia’s economy.

Minister Andrews said the NSW government’s decision to sign on to the Skilling Australian Fund National Partnership Agreement puts a renewed focus back on growing apprentice numbers throughout the state.

“An apprenticeship isn’t just about training, it’s the first step in a new paid career,” Minister Andrews said.

“Australians who undertake an apprenticeship or traineeship will develop the job-ready skills that industry needs and which employers are desperate to source.

“That’s why the Australian Government is driving the rollout of the Skilling Australian Fund, which will commit an estimated $1.5 billion to create up to 300,000 additional apprenticeships and traineeships throughout Australia.

“NSW will also benefit from a per capita share of the $50 million SAF sign-on payment, which the Government announced in the May Budget, helping to address areas skills shortages like those in the construction and food services industries,” Minister Andrews said.

“Organisations like Chambers Apprenticeship Support Australia help meet the needs of Australian businesses by equipping Australians with the flexible, adaptable, practical skills that employers want.

“I know that universities are good at selling the dream that a degree is the only pathway to success. We need to better highlight that quality vocational education and training and apprenticeships are also major drivers of jobs, skills and success in communities throughout Australia.

“Real skills lead to real careers. That’s something we should celebrate and reinforce to school students when they are thinking about their future.”

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Hedley | Friday, June 22, 2018, 5:16 AM
Our family engineering business has one apprentice and looking for another who is suitable for the commitment to become a skilled machinist. I wonder, however, just what government believes goes on in training when the announcement of $1.5 billion is in the budget to "create additional jobs for apprentices and traineeships". I would like to remind government that it is small business that creates a lot , if not most, of these apprenticeship positions. Furthermore, small business spends a great deal of time doing in-house training of the apprentice ona one-on-one basis. The trainer will usually be our foreman or a senior trades employee doing that training. This is a real cost to small business. Were it not for the need to train in-house, our qualified staff would be operating machines at an hourly charge-out rate according to the plant involved. In our business, we calculate this lost chargeable time to add up to $30,000.00 per four year term of training of our apprentices. It has to be done. But government could assist by reversing the four year term of an apprenticeship back to the five year term. When industry had that, we at least recovered some of that $30K by having the apprentice indentured for that fifth year when they are capable of earning a good return for us. And please don't blame TAFE for our need to continue in-house training. TAFE was never established to cover ALL trade training; TAFE was set up to cover the basics. Industry does the rest and always has done. I am very aware of this increasing trend to do more in-house training due to the technological changes impacting on industry. TAFE can't keep up with this using their older (and mostly still current) model. On the positive, and in support of TAFE, I welcome the move towards returning training back to employers and supporting us with on-line theory learning under an audit scheme operating from TAFE. Well done. This way business has the apprentice at our workplace 100% of the time, helping to pay their way, and earning a great deal themselves. It's working for me. And my apprentice is happier with the increased pay.