Toolkits for apprentices are a farcical response by John Howard to Australia’s major skills shortage that could cost the economy $9 billion and is already seriously affecting businesses.
Commenting on the Coalition’s announcement of a toolkit voucher for apprentices, ACTU President Sharan Burrow said:
“Toolkits for apprentices are a farcical response by John Howard to Australia’s major skills shortage that could cost the economy $9 billion and is already seriously affecting businesses.
Job vacancies in the traditional trades have already risen 20% in the past year and are now at their highest level for 15 years.
1. Screwloose toolkit proposal: A voucher for apprentices to buy a toolkit is
an absolute joke. It is unnecessary and economically irresponsible.
2. Most apprentices already receive an allowance of more than $1000 a year to buy and maintain their tools. A new $900 voucher is totally unnecessary and a waste of taxpayers’ funding.
Dishonest exaggeration of apprenticeships: The Liberal Party is dishonestly exaggerating the number of apprentices in training.
Less than a third of the 400,000 apprenticeships the Howard Government claims it is currently supporting are actual trades apprenticeships. Official Government data showing there are only 133,376 traditional apprentices in training. The Liberal Party is dishonestly inflating its figures by including short-term trainees such as kitchen-hands in fast food outlets in apprentice numbers.
3. Fundamental flaws in Coalition’s skills policies need to be fixed.
full four-year apprenticeship – the same $4125 incentive is also given for a
apprenticeship is paid $100 a week less than a fast food trainee flipping
not available in metropolitan areas – meaning 75% of apprentices miss out.
numbers and unmet demand for up to 57,000 extra places.
ACTU President Sharan Burrow is available for media comment – contact Ian Wilson 0408 513 849
Other union contacts with extensive links with apprentices include:
John Sutton – CFMEU – 0419 254 180
Julius Roe – AMWU – 0419 293114
Norm Cahill- Electro Group – (02) 9736 1076 – 0404 844 606
Peter Tighe – 0418 299 545