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Apprenticeship focus in Labor training plan welcome

"Ai Group welcomes the ALP’s Plan for Skills, TAFE and Apprentices. This plan squarely focusses on strengthening the skills and training system, with a special emphasis on apprenticeships," Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, said today.

"Such a focus is necessary to ensure that employers have the supply of skilled labour required across the economy, while creating important opportunities for individuals.

"The doubling of employer incentives from $4,000 to $8,000 is a strong step in the right direction and is supported by all sides of politics. The accompanying $2,000 per apprentice to assist with the costs of their education will further support apprentices on their important skill development journey.

"The plan also creates skill development opportunities for both young people and older workers. Enabling up to 10,000 young people who have been unemployed for more than six months to undertake an industry endorsed pre-apprenticeship will assist in lifting apprentice commencements. Advanced Entry Adult Apprenticeships will enable adults to retrain, gaining recognition along the way for previous experience, to gain trade skills in areas of economic need.

"The focus on TAFE compliments the above initiatives. Waiving upfront fees for 100,000 TAFE students, strengthened funding arrangements and improved trade training facilities will support a revitalised apprenticeship system.

"Ai Group has long called for a genuine and thorough review into post-compulsory education and training. We welcome the proposed National Inquiry and aspire for it to drive reforms enabling our tertiary system to be fit for the future and rebalance the standing of vocational and higher education.

"We are very pleased that the major parties have put a focus on education and training and the focus on boosting apprenticeships is particularly welcome," Mr Willox said.

Media enquiries: Tony Melville – 0419 190 347