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Testing new systems of training and apprenticeships

Five industry-led projects will receive up to $9.2 million to help entry level and qualified trades people get into the labour market.

Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Karen Andrews MP, said vocational education and training (VET) was critical to ensuring Australia had the skilled workforce it needed for economic growth, competitiveness and productivity.

“The government is committed to a high quality VET system that ensures students are trained in skills for real jobs. That means placing employers at the centre of the training system, and making the training system responsive to industry needs.

“Through these new pilot projects, we will test training models which provide alternative skills development options for both industry and those undertaking the training.”

“The Turnbull Government wants to support industry efforts to explore new arrangements, and examine and test potential regulatory or administrative barriers to innovative industry-led apprenticeship training practices.”

Minister Andrews said three initial priority pilot projects were being funded with activities planned for Adelaide, Sydney, Bunbury, Hobart, Cairns, Brisbane, Melbourne and several other areas.

“Master Builders Australia, the National Electrical and Communications Association, and North East Vocational College will each run pilot projects in industry areas including building and construction, electrical and communications,” she said.

Applications recently closed for a competitive funding round for two further pilot projects, to be announced later in 2016. All pilots will conclude in 2018 and will be evaluated to assess their potential for adoption more broadly by industry.

“The Government is committed to involving industry in the design of apprenticeships and other skills training,” Minister Andrews said.

“As part of that commitment, I am releasing a report which makes 22 recommendations for the reform of Australia’s apprenticeships system.

“The report was developed by a high-level Advisory Group comprising industry, government and VET sector representatives and covers areas including pre-apprenticeships, incentive arrangements, alternative models of delivery and broader system improvements.

“The report will provide the basis for my discussions with state and territory skills ministers and sector stakeholders on potential future reform options.

“It is vital that Australia’s apprenticeships system continues to deliver highly skilled and qualified workers into businesses and industry, to meet the evolving needs of the national economy,” Minister Andrews said.

Minister Andrews said the Australian Government already had taken action in a number of areas examined by the Advisory Group.

“In addition to testing alternative apprenticeship delivery models, we have also funded a $6.82 million pilot of multi-industry pre-apprenticeship models that are giving young people in Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania hands-on industry experience and a pathway into an apprenticeship or traineeship,” she said.

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