A new $145 million scheme to secure the jobs of apprentices and trainees will ensure young people have a pathway to a career and maintain Australia’s skills base during the economic downturn.
ACTU President Sharan Burrow said the scheme announced tonight by the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations is an important plank of a job compact with young Australians.
“At all times – but especially now with the economy slowing – it is important to ensure young people are involved in training and job placement programs,” Ms Burrow said.
“Unfortunately, apprentices are often the first to be shown the door when a business falls on tough times.
“Having a program in place to assist apprentices complete their training is absolutely important because evidence shows that young people who stop their training partway through an apprenticeship rarely restart it.”
Ms Burrow said to be fully effective, the Securing Apprenticeships scheme needed to be backed by a comprehensive national database to match out-of-trade apprentices with potential employers or training organisations.
She said the new preference in government-funded infrastructure projects to be given to businesses that had a commitment to training and apprenticeships was a positive example of how procurement policies could deliver good outcomes for Australian jobs.