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Print industry group Visual Media Association has welcomed the government’s latest review into apprenticeships, which is aimed to address the high rate of dropouts, which it describes as "abysmal".

Training crisis: PIAA lobbying wins government review
Apprentices: VMA backs government review

The federal government will conduct a review of the Australian Apprenticeships Incentive System to address the completion rates, which run at little over 50 per cent of all those that sign on for an apprenticeship.

The incentive system, which was introduced two years ago, provides support to employers and apprentices, but those financial supports are scheduled to change from 1 July.

Charles Watson, GM – IR, governance and policy at VMA said, “Attracting apprentices to the industry is the first difficult step, but keeping them through to completion is the other.

“Previous government support and incentive programmes, although well-intentioned, have not adequately addressed or changed the status quo. Hopefully this review will give the government a better and deeper understanding of the skills and training issues faced by the industry.”

The review is accepting written submissions until 15 May, and will establish a national programme of online and face-to-face consultations in the coming weeks.

“We know that almost half of all apprentices don’t complete their training,” Brendan O’Connor, Minister for Skills and Training of Australia said. “Addressing the completion rate is not just vitally important for individuals and employers, but also for the Australian economy.”

Employers can receive financial support through wage subsidies and apprentices can receive direct payments to help with cost-of-living pressures. It specifically covers jobs on the Australian Apprenticeships Priority List targeting jobs that are in high demand.

Watson said, “The VMA looks forward to participating in the review and providing the industry perspective which will hopefully bring about real and equitable outcomes for all industries, and not just for the benefit of the IT and construction industries.”


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