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Labor continues to attack apprentices

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Minister for Vocational Education and Skills

Senator the Hon Scott Ryan

Labor continues to attack apprentices

May 24, 2016

Labor has again attacked support for apprentices in a media release issued today by Shadow Minister for Vocational Education Sharon Bird.

Minister for Vocational Education and Skills Senator the Hon Scott Ryan said Ms Bird and Labor clearly don’t understand or value the role of employers in the apprenticeship system.

“Labor’s attack on apprentices and their employers continues today in Ms Bird’s complete misunderstanding and confected outrage at the Apprenticeship Training - Alternative Delivery Pilots,” Minister Ryan said.

“The Apprenticeship Training - Alternative Delivery Pilots were not hidden, they were plain to see in the 2015-16 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO)[i] update released December 15, 2015.”

“More notably, Labor continues to attack the role of employers in the apprenticeship system.”

“These pilots do not replace the existing apprenticeship system, they complement existing arrangements, they work with industry and other stakeholders to help more young people start and complete traditional apprenticeship training and repair the damage inflicted by Labor.”

“Sharon Bird’s hostility to these pilots illustrates that Labor doesn’t understand how critical the employer is to a successful apprenticeship experience or program.”

Minister Ryan said this approach also explains Labor’s record of utter failure in apprenticeships, cutting record amounts from employer incentives and overseeing a 25 per cent drop in apprenticeship take-ups, the biggest decline on record.

“Labor gutted Australian apprenticeships, cutting employer incentive payments nine times between 2011 and 2013, a total of $1.2 billion in cuts. In contrast, the Coalition has not cut a single incentive payment to employers of apprentices,” Minister Ryan said.

“Labor cannot hide from the fact that their $1.2 billion cuts failed apprentices and led to 85,000 fewer apprentices commencing training between 2012 and 2013.”

The Coalition is working hard to reverse the impact of Labor’s cuts by:

 Introducing Trade Support Loans, which provide assistance with living and work expenses, have been taken up by 40,000 apprentices.

 Continuing support for apprentices and their employers through the Australian Apprenticeship Incentives Programme, which provides incentives of up to $4,000 to employers who create job opportunities for eligible apprentices.

 Introducing the $900 million Australian Apprenticeship Support Network, which helps match the right person with the right apprenticeship, and provides mentoring and other support to improve completion rates.

In addition, the Turnbull Coalition Government’s Youth Jobs PaTH Programme, announced in the 2016-17 Budget, will help young job seekers by getting them ready, giving them a go and getting them a job.

This includes assisting young job seekers get into an apprenticeship. Employers who hire an eligible job seeker as an apprentice can benefit from up to $10,000 under the Youth Bonus Wage Subsidy, in addition to applicable incentives under the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Programme.

The Turnbull Coalition Government is supporting apprentices and employers to boost the nation’s skilled workforce.

Media for Senator Ryan: Gemma Sandlant 0428 421 384