Governments need to do more to increase in apprentice numbers and improve school-leavers’ job prospects

Governments need to do more to increase in apprentice numbers and improve school-leavers’ job prospects

Students graduating from high schools this year are facing a drop in the number of apprenticeships which will limit their job prospects, the Group Training Association of Victoria said today.

Gary Workman, executive director of GTAV said that figures released today by Skills Minister Peter Hall showed that the number of apprentices in Victoria had dropped by 5 per cent over the last year.

“This is a worrying trend and shows that businesses are concerned about the economy and whether they can afford to put on an apprentice,” Mr Workman said.

“From the anecdotal evidence we are hearing, we don’t expect this to improve over the coming year” Mr Workman said.

“A drop in apprenticeships means that less young Victorians are able to get on a pathway to skilled, well-paid work.

“The Victorian Government has increased the support it provides for apprenticeships, but it is clear that this is not enough to counteract the poor economic conditions,” Mr Workman said.

“Businesses need the support of Governments to be able to provide apprenticeships and give young people the skills they need for a life in the workforce.

“The Federal Government has increased its funding through a temporary three-month recommencement of the Kickstart program but this has failed to make a difference in take-up rates. The Federal Government should continue the Kickstart program beyond February 2013.

“Apprenticeships provide real skills and training for young workers. They have given thousands of Australians a start on meaningful careers.”

“Australia is facing shortages of skilled workers in many areas and apprenticeships are a way of ensuring we have skilled workers for the future, and that we do not leave a generation of young people permanently locked out of the workforce.”

“Group Training Organisations make it easier for businesses who want an apprentice by handling administrative details and ensuring that apprentices can be shifted to other workplaces if required,  which gives greater flexibility and ongoing support.”

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