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ABC News Breakfast -

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(generated from captions) to do. Good to talk to you,

thanks so much. Thank you.

Employer groups have welcomed

the decision announced by the

Federal Government to provide

support for apremiership

tisships over the next 2.5 yeers. The Government is going

to spend 145 million dollars on

wage subsidies and training

costs. Deputy Prime Minister

Julia Gillard joins us from Sydney. Good morning.. good

morning, Virginia. I guess in -

asurming in putting this

package in place you can save

then a certain number of

apprenticeships from being lost

how many apprenticeships do you

believe you'll keep from being

cut? This is going to be a

demand-driven system. There is

not a cap on it. What we know

from past economic downturns is

that you find aprep tess who

are mid way through their time

doing their apprenticeship end

up being laid off. If you

imagine someone who is 2 years

into doing his or her plumbing

qualification, they lose their

job with their employer, that's

all going to be wasted unless

they get an opportunity to

complete and this new enceptive

money is o to create an

insepive for another employer

to take them on so they get

that opportunity to complete or

for a group training

organisation to take them on

and have them work in a number

of employers' premise s to

complete or for a training

provider to give the equivalent

training in the employers's place -

We've taken advice and the

advice is that this kind of

insent ive on top of

ALL: Incentives for

aapprentices will make a

difference. But can you give us

a figure? It's again another

very large sum of money the

Government's spending and

sending us further into debt.

So $145 million equals how many

apprenticeships being kept?

It's going to be a demand

driven system. We're

calculating that will be the

uptake but if there is more

uptake then we are hope to see

that, Virginia, all of our

advice is that the amount of

money we're offering E ploirs

and - employers and group

training organisations is

enough to make a difference and

to get them to take up this

program. Depp Ty Prime

Minister, you understand why

I'm hammering this point. It's

an issue the Government is

clearly going to be hammered

on. If you can't get specific

about the amounts of apprenticeships that you're

aiming to keep, to retain then

the discussion's quite

nebulous, isn't it? Well

intentioned but nebulous. I

don't agree with you at all.

The reason for having a demand

driven system is we don't want

to place an artificial limit on

the number of people who - I'm

ate not asking for a limit, I'm just asking for a number you

think you might be able to then

keep?. Well, this money is

there to obviously assist to

keep as many as possible,

that's why we are not setting a

limit. It's an incentive to get

employers to take on out of

trade apprentices, to get

registered training

organisations to help with out

of trade apprentices and to get

group training organisations to

assist to give people

opportunities across work

places to get

training. Virginia, the point

is there is no cap. It's an

inceptive system. We want to

drive maximum uptake. What do I

want to see? I want to see a

circumstance where we are

creating new path ways for

apprentices who have found

themselves laid off in these

difficult day s. Do I know how many apprentices are going to

be laid off in the coming

period? Of course I don't.

No-one can know that. When

someone is laid off, instead of

standing back and watching that

happen we're gonna have this

money ready and available to

create inceptives to so

someone steps in, a group

employer, train ing provider so they can complete their course

of study. There is interesting

research quoted today bit

financial review rr showing in

order to stop massive job

shedding thrut the economy the

Government should consider cutting immigration by

potentially up to two-thirds

and there needs to be a

crackdown on employers using

foreign workers. What's the

Government's view of that?.

I've seen the reports of of the

research, it seems to me from

looking at those reporting the

research is about the

immigration system before we

made some recent changes. The

changes that my colleague the

Minister for Immigration has

made is to make sure that we

are expediting the immigration

of people who have the skills

that we need and who have

secured a work position in this

country. That is they have a

job to go to. If thos

circumstances when employers

have looked in the Australian

market, not been able to get

the skills that they need, then

obviously if those migrants are

coming in and taking up a job

that they know they've got, it

seems to me that this research

can not be right. It would seem

also that the key Union, the

CFMEU is backing the research

this morning. What's your

message to that union?. My

message toive would be the same

- we've made some recent

changes so that we are taking

we know even skilled migrants who have jobs,

we know even in today's economic circumstances there

are still some parts of our

nation where people are crying

out for skilled labour and we

have the migration system to

assist with that. Virginia, if

I can just make this broader

point - when you look at

today's economy and say why

have we faced skill short ages?

The reason is in earlier

economic downturns we've

dropped the ball on skilling.

Skilling's gone down then when

the economy starts to grow

again everybody's crying out

for skilled labour. The measures we're taking for out

of trade apprentices are about

helping to stop that cycle, so

instead of plumbers and

carpenters, young people who

want those trades losing their

jobs now and not being able to

complete and then employers

when the economy grows crying

out and saying I can't get a

plumber, a carpenter, an

electrician, we want to make

sure we're lifting skilling

efforts so those people are

there to take up the work

opportunities when things turn.

It takes us to the point that

John Howard the former prime

minister was making last night

- that your government can't

have it both ways, you can't be

arguing us a did just then arguing us a did just then that

his government didn't do enough

in order to shore up

Australia's economic position

then that no country is better

placed than Australia to

survive the global downturn. He

has a point, doesn't he?, I

wouldn't agree with that

either, Virginia You see the

contradiction. One of them is

true and one is false,

surely. I don't agree with you

putting it as a dike ot my.

What we've said, consistently

in opposition and in Government, was this country

has had the benefit of a

resources boom which has

generated a lot of income into

this nation. Now we believe the

former government did drop the

ball by not using the proceeds

of that new wealth to invest in

the long-term things this

country needed such as

infrastructure, which is why

people are still crying out

saying we need more done for

roads and rail and ports for

the bottle necks in our

community that matter, for the

travel of endwids but most

particularly mat forget ing -

matter for getting exports to

market. The Government's

droppeded the ball an

education, it under invest in

the education, we are seeing that

that as a constraint on our

economy, people needed

skilleded labour and couldn't

get it because the Howard

Government didn't use the

proceeds of the resources boom

for those long-term

investments. This is a

government in more difficult days following the global

financial crisis that is saying

let's act today to do

everything we can to push -

cushion the Australian economy

from the full effects of the global financial crisis, but at

the same time let's build for

the long term and the out of trades apprenticeship

initiative I'm talking to you

about today is a perfect

example good for people today

Des placed because of the global financial crisis. Great

for the Australia of tomorrow,

those young people are going to

be fully trained, carpenters,

plumbers, lek trigs and motor

mechanics. Julia Gillard,