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Parliamentary committee urges examination of cuts to apprentice programs

16-Mar-2016

The peak body representing Australia’s group training network today welcomed a parliamentary committee’s recommendation that the federal government examine the impact of recent cuts to key apprenticeship programs.

The report of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Employment, ‘Getting business booming’, examines the barriers for small business employment.

Amongst its recommendations, it includes:

“The Committee recommends that the Australian Government assess the impact of changes at the State and Federal level to apprenticeship programs including the Joint Group Training Program and the Australian Apprenticeships Access Program.”

The Chief Executive of Group Training Australia (GTA) Jim Barron said the findings of the report reflect the concerns of the group training network over the  impact of certain funding decisions on skills development.

“The cuts to the two programs identified in the report have had a significant impact on the capacity of some group training organisations to engage apprentices and trainees,” Mr Barron said.

As GTA highlighted in evidence before the committee, the impact of funding withdrawal has affected the network’s capacity to grow and service small and medium sized business.

As the report notes, “Continual change occurring in government policy” has presented a challenge to small businesses, which have seen a reduction in the pool of potential apprentices, as well as barriers for others that require assistance.

“GTA believes there has been a period of significant policy upheaval across the VET sector, coinciding with a steady decline in apprentice numbers.

“We think it is time for a period of policy and program stability, and that it is appropriate for the government to heed the advice of the committee and assess the impact of these cuts on employment and skills development,” he 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