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West Australian Minister's phoney commitment to competency-based apprenticeships.\n

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Media Release


The West Australian Government’s attempt to pretend it is implementing its commitment to competency-based training has been exposed by its own state Training Minister Ljiljlianna Ravlich.

The Australian Minister for Vocational and Technical Education, the Hon Gary Hardgrave MP, is appalled by any government publicly committing through its Premier to competency-based training to claim that this is somehow achieved through slashing time.

The fallacy of this position is illustrated by the exclusion of some industries for “public safety” reasons.

“Surely, a competency-based training system is understood to deliver people who are fully competent in all aspects of their chosen career,’’ Mr Hardgrave said.

“I call on Ms Ravlich to be honest about what her state is intending to do, and while making this call, seek her assurance that competency-based training and full availability of Australian School-Based Apprenticeships in the traditional trades will be available to all West Australians by the end of this year, as promised by her Premier,” Mr Hardgrave said.

“Such apprenticeships have been in Queensland since 1997.”

The Australian Government, through its leadership of COAG, will ensure Australia’s world-class training system is underpinned by a national, competency-based, industry-relevant training and licensing system.

The states must now come good on their promises to deliver on the COAG resolutions.

The Howard Government is committed to building the most efficient training system possible through the COAG initiatives and record VTE funding.

The commitment to maintain Australia’s prosperity for decades to come and provide real options for young Australians, is evident through the Australian Government’s record investment in the Vocational and Technical Education system.

The Australian Government is providing $10.8 billion over the next 4 years, including

initiatives to attract and retain Australian Apprentices - the biggest ever commitment to VTE by any government.

Investment in training Australians has increased 85 percent in real terms since 1995-96 under the Howard Government.

The Howard Government has also presided over record growth in the take-up of Australian Apprenticeships:

• There are now over 389,000 Australian Apprentices in training, a 151 percent increase from March 1996 when the Howard Government came to office;

• Completed Australian Apprenticeships in 2005 rose to 138,700 in the 12 months to December 2005, an increase of 2 percent on the previous 12 months; and

• There were 73,500 Australian Apprenticeship commencements in trades and related worker occupations in the 12 months to December 2005.

“If the Western Australian’s Government came good on its promise to introduce competency-based apprenticeships, these trained apprentices would be emerging trade-qualified and armed with nationally recognised qualifications,’’ Mr Hardgrave said.

Media Adviser: Mr Hardgrave’s Office: Nikki Voss 0402 896 100