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Labor funding pledge for group training

16-Jun-2016

Apprentice network welcomes federal opposition pledge on group training funding

The peak body representing Australia’s group training network today welcomed the Federal Opposition’s commitment to restore funding to help boost the number of apprentices and trainees.

The Shadow Minister for Vocational Education Sharon Bird announced today that, if elected, Labor would provide $10 million a year over four years in funding to group training organisations.

The Chair of GTA, Stuart Diepeveen, welcomed the announcement, saying it would be good news to thousands of apprentices, trainees, group training organisations and employers.

“It is very encouraging that the federal opposition has listened to the voices of so many in the group training network who have lent their support to this important funding,” he said.

“The funding that is promised is of a similar magnitude to what was provided under the Joint Group Training Program, which was cut in 2014.

“This funding supports thousands of apprentices and trainees around Australia to commence and complete their training.

“We are extremely pleased with the Opposition’s commitment and call on the Federal Government to also pledge their support to match the funding if re-elected,” Mr Diepeveen said.

The impact of the cut to the Joint Group Training Program was felt across the apprentice employment network and had a negative impact on the capacity of many group training organisations to take on apprentices and trainees.

A report in March by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Employment, ‘Getting business booming’, recommended that the federal government assess the impact of cuts to the program.

Group training organisations work largely with small and medium sized businesses to take on apprentices and trainees and undertake training that may not otherwise be possible.

At a time when the pool of apprentices and trainees is under strain, and the numbers in training are at a historic low, funding is vital and, we argue, represents a sound investment in Australia’s skills development, Mr Diepeveen said.

Media Contact: Bob Bowden, Foresight Communications 0412 753 298  bbowden@bowmac.com.au

Group Training Australia is the national peak body representing the network of over 120 Group Training Organisations (GTOs) employing apprentices and trainees throughout Australia. www.grouptraining.com.au