Bill Shorten makes big apprenticeship announcement

by L&D07 Jun 2016
The number of Australians in training for an apprenticeship is now at its lowest level since 2001. 

In response, the Australia Labor Party will introduce an apprenticeship quota if they are elected at the upcoming election.

This will involve beginning with a target of seeing one in 10 jobs on Labor’s priority infrastructure projects filled by Australian apprentices. 

Labor claims this will create 2,600 new apprenticeship places for young workers seeking a job and skills.  

“In government, we will also work with the States and Territories and industry to develop procurement rules for apprentices that will apply to all infrastructure, construction and defence projects with capital expenditure over $10 million,” said the Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.

"This will create tens of thousands more apprenticeship places in the years to come."

Labor will also establish an Apprenticeships Connect search portal and appoint a Apprentice Advocate to help connect potential apprentices with jobs and training, and ensure they gain high quality skills

“Similar to the UK Government’s Find an Apprenticeship service, the portal will let young people who are considering doing an apprenticeship search for training and job opportunities near them and connect with Australian Apprenticeship Support Network Providers who can help them get signed up,” said Shorten.

Labor plan to establish the Apprentice Advocate to work on issues like quality of training, portable skills, retention and completion rates for apprentices across the country.

In total, the ALP have pledged $4 million for the National Apprenticeship Advocate and the training portal.

According to Labor, the Abbott-Turnbull Government has cut over $2.5 billion from skills and training programs, and has seen apprentice numbers fall by more than 120,000 since the last election.

“Labor backs apprenticeships because they give people a job to support themselves while they gain valuable skills – two things every Australian should have access to,” said Shorten.

“We also understand that quality trades training will be central to building up the skilled workforce Australia needs to continue growing and innovating as a country.

“Our plan for apprentices comes on top of our commitment to ridding the VET sector of dodgy operators and guaranteeing the future of TAFE as our central public provider.”

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