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New report sets a clear pathway to the future of apprenticeships

16-Aug-2016 Australia’s national apprenticeship employment network, Group Training Australia, welcomes a new report which recommends sweeping changes to help revitalise the apprenticeship system.
 
The Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Karen Andrews, released the report of the Apprenticeships Reform Advisory Group.
 
The report makes a series of recommendations aimed at raising the appeal of apprenticeships, addressing a number of structural issues and better targeting financial incentives for employers.
 
The Chair of Group Training Australia (GTA) Mr Stuart Diepeveen strongly welcomed the report, saying it makes a number of extremely positive findings that could boost apprenticeships and better link them with national skills priorities.
 
“GTA members, as a group, are the largest employer of apprentices and trainees in the country and we believe there is much in the report that could be used to position the apprenticeship system as the cornerstone of skills development within in a modern economy,” he said.
 
“We stand ready to assist policy makers to put these measures into practice across the breadth of the group training network and particularly with our small to medium sized enterprise customers.”
 
The report argues for a comprehensive review of the apprenticeship system, with a view to a seamless policy approach across Commonwealth, state and territory governments.
 
It also makes useful suggestions about lifting the appeal and status of apprenticeships through measures such as an apprenticeship hub, and improved links to training providers, schools and careers advisers.
 
Importantly, the report proposes a restructuring of the current incentive payments to employers to place a greater focus on apprentice commencement and retention. 
 
It supports greater flexibility around incentive payments, raising the possibility of variable funding to different industries, occupations and regions, and even the idea of industry groups or employers securing funding for apprenticeships in certain areas and sectors.
 
GTA also welcomes the focus on creating greater consistency around pre-apprenticeships, with an industry-led framework that would set standards and practice to better integrate apprentices into the workplace and improve completion rates.
 
Group Training Australia also acknowledges the report’s finding that the VET system already contains the necessary flexibility to support a range of alternative models of apprenticeship delivery. 
 
In that regard, GTA supports the report’s intention to explore broader approaches to apprenticeship delivery, including competency-based progression, bundling of competencies and skill sets, and multiple training entry and exit points.
 
 
 
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