Manufacturing News

Investment in apprentices a positive sign for industry

Australian Industry Group chief executive, Heather Ridout, has commented that the increase in apprenticeship commencements announced recently by the Federal Government is a positive sign that industry is responding to skill shortages by investing in the training of young people.

"The traditional trades are a key area to focus on in addressing skill shortages and the growth in apprenticeships needs to be sustained,” she said.

"The results show that the Kickstart Bonus appears to have been a success in supporting apprenticeships and Ai Group is strongly of the view that there should be some redesign of the incentive to make it permanent.

"Ai Group itself employs well over 500 apprentices yet there remains strong demand from employers to host apprentices and there are plenty of vacancies in the scheme for young people.

"Another promising aspect of today’s training data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research is that the number of higher level qualifications (diplomas and advanced diplomas) commenced in 2010 is more than double the number of these qualifications which were commenced in 2009 (8,200 compared to 3,700).

"While this increase is off a low base, we have consistently stressed the need for industry to have access to higher level skills and these statistics show an increased commitment to the building of those higher level skills.”

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