Expert Apprentice Taskforce An Opportunity To Review Training Priorities

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19th July 2010, 01:21pm - Views: 951

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Patron - Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia

GTA is the national peak body representing the network of over 150 Group Training Organisations (GTOs) employing apprentices

and trainees throughout Australia.

19 July 2010

Expert apprentice taskforce provides opportunity to review

Australia’s training priorities 

Group Training Australia (GTA), representing the single largest network employing apprentices and


today welcomed the announcement of the expert panel to inquire into the Australian

Apprenticeships system.

The Chief Executive Officer of GTA, Jim Barron said the expert panel would have an opportunity to

examine the real needs of apprentices and employers in the face of looming skills shortages as

business emerges from the economic downturn.

“We welcome this inquiry as a means of examining some of the reasons that apprentice numbers

come under threat, and the factors that will help to underpin a sustainable apprenticeship system in

an economy with growing skills needs.

“It is important to understand the drivers of apprentice commencements and completions and to

isolate those factors that are inhibiting the take-up of apprenticeships and traineeships by young


Mr Barron said the announcement of the federal election should provide an opportunity for all

parties to outline a comprehensive set of policies to help build Australia’s skills infrastructure and to

get more young Australians into apprenticeships and traineeships.

He said that while the current employer incentives to take on apprentices have worked well, there is

also the question of how assistance can be provided during the course of the apprenticeship so that

completion rates can be improved.

“The level of apprentice wages can be a significant inhibition to young people who are trying to

undertake a trades career, especially in the early years, which also coincides with some of the highest

drop-out rates.

“The federal election campaign should also focus debate on the broader issue of workforce

development so that there is a clear understanding about the pathway to

move into high value

trades and to enhance skills in a way that enables the country to work more productively and

smarter. “

Intermediaries like group training with their extensive links into the small and medium business

sector, and with apprentices across the country, can play a valuable role in helping to upgrade skills

and match people to business needs.  




It’s also worth asking whether the current model of apprenticeships is entirely appropriate for the



and whether there are other pathways that can be developed to complement current


“Over the coming weeks, we urge all parties to ensure that they provide, clear, achievable and

comprehensive policies that will address Australia’s emerging skills needs, and support the thousands

of apprentices and trainees across Australia, and the businesses that employ them,” Mr Barron said.


Group Training Australia is the national peak body representing the network of over 150 Group Training

Organisations (GTOs) employing apprentices and trainees throughout Australia. GTA was recently awarded the

Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia (COSBOA)

Small Business Champion Award 2010 for its

work with small businesses across Australia.

Media Contact:

Bob Bowden, Foresight Communications, 02 9241 2811, 0412 753 298,   

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