New state apprenticeship act to ‘strengthen’ industry ties

Picture by Jocelyn Floro, courtesy of UTS

Changes to laws governing the New South Wales’ apprenticeship system will make it more responsive to the demands of the contemporary workplace.

The Apprenticeship and Traineeship Amendment Bill 2017 was drafted and passed by parliament last September after extensive consultations with industry, employers and registered training organisations (RTOs).

It came into effect on January 1.

“The amendments to the act reduce red tape and strengthen the partnership between the training providers and employers in planning and assessing the competencies of apprentices through their agreed Training Plan,” said John Barilaro, the state’s deputy premier and skills minister.

“It will now be a requirement of the act that employers and RTOs collaborate over development and review of Training Plans and report the on-the-job progress of apprentices at regular intervals.

“We’re also reforming the system of trade recognition which will streamline the process of having hands-on experience, skills and knowledge recognised in a qualification.”

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Under the new system, Training Services NSW (TSNSW) will give applicants advice and direct them to an appropriate Smart and Skilled provider who will assess the applicant’s practical skills and issue a verification of a trade qualification.

“We’re also abolishing the Vocational Training Review panel and strengthening the powers of the Commissioner for Vocational Training who will address complaints without the administrative burden, cost and formality of convening a panel,” Barilaro continued.

The Commissioner will also have the power to initiate the cancellation of an apprenticeship or traineeship.

Barilaro said the amendments would support young workers to become better skilled, improve completion rates and ensure apprentices and trainees receive qualifications that directly meet the needs of their job.

“The new act will help employers meet the growing demand for a skilled workforce and ensure that we are setting up our young workers to fill the jobs of the future that will continue to drive the NSW economy,” he added.

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