More support for WA Apprentices to complete training

Around 580 West Australian apprentices in key trades stand to benefit from a mentoring program aimed at improving apprenticeship retention rates.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Minister for Skills Senator Chris Evans and Member for Brand Gary Gray today announced the $1.1 million joint mentoring initiative that will target apprentices who need additional assistance to complete their apprenticeship.

Right now, only approximately half of all apprentices currently complete their trades training.

Mentoring is a proven way to increase these retention rates within the Australian Apprenticeship system.

Under this initiative, the Chamber of Commerce and the Industry Western Australia (CCIWA) will employ seven experienced mentors to provide support and advice to apprentices identified by employers across the state.

The mentoring project will focus on small and medium enterprises with a strong focus on school-based, mature-aged and first year apprentices, including fly-in fly-out apprentices.

It will also target people from Indigenous backgrounds, from rural and remote regions and people with a disability.

Apprentices will get intensive 24 hour mentoring support through face-to-face meetings, social media and other communications networks.

Many Western Australian industries are experiencing a skills shortage and it is anticipated that there will be a high uptake in automotive, engineering and construction-related occupations and the health and community services sectors.

Nationwide, more than $100 million has been allocated for the Australian Apprenticeships Mentoring Program which aims to improve completion rates and support the supply of skilled workers in the sectors and occupations where there is a current or emerging skills need.

The Gillard Government is investing $912,000 and the CCIWA is contributing $216,000 towards the WA-based project.

Member for Brand Gary Gray said that mentoring is a proven way to increase these retention rates within the Australian Apprenticeship system.

The mentoring project will focus on small and medium enterprises with a strong focus on school-based, mature-aged and first year apprentices, including fly-in fly-out apprentices.

It will also target people from Indigenous backgrounds, from rural and remote regions and people with a disability.

 

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