Apprentice Info

$176 million to boost trade training for thousands of students

Friday 16 December 2011

The Hon Peter Garrett MP

Minister for School Education, Minister for Early Childhood and Youth

Thousands of students in 169 secondary schools across the nation will benefit from a $176 million Australian Government investment in building trade training centres.

Minister for School Education Peter Garrett said the $176 million announced today is the latest installment in the Australian Government’s $2.5 billion for schools to build or upgrade trade training facilities.

“The Australian Government is committed to ensuring every Australian student can get the skills they need to succeed in tomorrow’s workforce,” Mr Garrett said.

“Our investment in trade training centres in schools means that school students can start learning the skills they need for a great trade career in state-of-the-art facilities, while they are still completing their normal school studies.

“We are determined to keep our economy strong by investing in the skilled workforce Australian businesses will need to stay competitive and create jobs.

“We know that a person leaving school before finishing Year 11 will earn around 20 per cent below average earnings. We also know that about 60,000 school leavers are falling through the cracks and are not successfully making the move to further study or work.

“We recognise the need for more Australians to have trades qualifications. Equally, we recognise that while going to university may suit some students, it’s not for everyone. For many school students their career lies in the highly skilled trades jobs our economy is producing.

“This Australian Government investment is giving students more choice to find a career that suits them, and is ensuring that Australian businesses have access to a highly skilled workforce,” Mr Garrett said.

This latest $176 million investment brings the Australian Government’s commitment to the Trade Training Centres in Schools Program to more than $1.2 billion. This is being invested in more than 370 new or upgraded Trade Training Centres benefiting more than 1,060 secondary schools.

Further information is available at

Media Contact:

Non-media queries: 1300 363 079

Ambassadors back Apprenticeships as a great start in life

Tuesday 6 December 2011 Media Release

Senator the Hon Chris Evans

    Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations     Leader of the Government in the Senate

High profile Australians including Greater Western Sydney Giants coach Kevin Sheedy AM, chef and restaurateur Neil Perry, horticulturist and TV star Jody Rigby, former Geelong Captain Cameron Ling and former NRL great Andrew Ryan will work with the Gillard Government and industry groups to promote Australian Apprenticeships.

Minister for Skills and Jobs, Senator Chris Evans, said the Apprenticeship Ambassadors would play a key role in promoting the benefits of getting a formal skills qualification.

“Many people may not know that AFL great Kevin Sheedy was once a plumber, that TV landscaping guru Jody Rigby spent four years in a horticultural apprenticeship or that former Canterbury Bulldogs captain Andrew Ryan owns a landscape gardening business as the result of his studies,” Senator Evans said.

“For each of these high profile Australians, getting an apprenticeship was the first step to entering the workforce and forging a successful career.

“I am delighted they are joining the Government in promoting the benefits of getting a skills qualification. It is a great way to start your working life.”

Kevin Sheedy, Jody Rigby and Andrew Ryan today joined Senator Evans to launch the Apprenticeships Ambassadors program at the 370 Degrees Group’s National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) facility in Brunswick, Melbourne.

Mr Sheedy said getting an apprenticeship provided young people with the chance to develop skills they would carry through their lives.

“Plumbing helped give me and many other AFL footballers a start in life and Australia needs young people to have the opportunity to build their careers through the apprenticeship system,” he said.

“This is particularly so in regions like Greater Western Sydney where the GIANTS want to build a strong connection to the community through programs like this.”

Senator Evans said the Ambassadors would promote the life-changing benefits of completing an Australian Apprenticeship and the Government would implement a series of reforms to transform how training was delivered.

“We want to ensure the system works for apprentices and trainees, and also their employers,” he said.

“The Apprenticeships for the 21st Century review recognised the strengths of the system but also identified areas for reform.

“Together with the states and territories we will build a harmonised, simpler and better targeted national system.”

Over the next two years, the Government will streamline and harmonise laws and regulations for apprenticeships across jurisdictions to ensure trainees who move between states can have their training recognised.

“This will result in a simpler, user-friendly Australian Apprenticeships system that reduces costs for industry and improves completion rates,” Senator Evans said.

“State and Territory Ministers have already agreed to a set of principles to underpin the harmonisation process and are eager to get on with the job of reforming the system.”

The Government began the reform process earlier this year with the introduction of Budget measures designed to boost completion rates and provide flexibility for employers to meet critical skills shortages.

The $100 million Accelerated Australian Apprenticeships package will speed up the supply of skilled workers by advancing apprentices as they gain required competencies while the $101 million Australian Apprenticeships Mentoring package provides apprentices with guidance in choosing the right occupation and ongoing mentoring throughout their training.

“Thanks to the Gillard Government’s investment in skills, we now have a record 458,900 Australians in apprenticeships and traineeships,” Senator Evans said.

“I look forward to working with my state and territory colleagues and industry and employer groups to simplify and streamline our apprenticeship system and put in place a system that works better for businesses and sees more apprentices completing their training.”

Media Contact:

Non-media queries: 1300 363 079

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