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New apprenticeships results encouraging.



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Media Release

New apprenticeships results encouraging 7 March, 2005

A report released today by Minister for Vocational and Technical Education, Gary Hardgrave, shows that the Australian Government’s New Apprenticeships system has been very successful in increasing the number of people in structured training in Australia’s workforce.

Mr Hardgrave said the report, which has recently been completed, reinforces the success of the programme in creating new and more flexible training opportunities. He said the benefit of a New Apprenticeship is clear with more than nine in ten New Apprentices gaining secure and ongoing employment.

“The report “Skills for Work” - an evaluation of New Apprenticeships is based on research conducted over more than a year. The report involves the analysis of already available reports, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and several additional surveys of New Apprentices and employers from across Australia,” Mr Hardgrave said.

“The evaluation highlighted that the New Apprenticeships system is highly responsive and relevant to industry needs. It also showed that Government financial incentives provided to employers taking on New Apprentices, are highly effective in boosting training opportunities, particularly in areas of skills shortages.”

Currently there are almost 394,000 people in a New Apprenticeship (this represents four percent of the workforce), an increase of almost 200,000 people since 1998.

New Apprenticeships are now available for over 500 occupations, with almost a quarter of these on a part-time basis. A growing number of School-Based New Apprenticeships are also being undertaken by our students. However, because of state industrial relations laws there are nowhere near enough School-Based New Apprenticeships in key industry skills sectors.

“While this report shows the New Apprenticeship scheme successfully provides an accessible and flexible path to satisfying careers for the 70 per cent of young Australians who do not go straight from school to university there is much more to do.

“New Apprenticeships have also provided significant opportunities for older Australians to participate in training, often experiencing structured training for the first time, with one in five aged forty and above.

“This evaluation highlights the ongoing work the Howard Government is doing to address the skills needs of Australian business and industry,” Mr Hardgrave said.

“Skills for Work” - both the full and summary report are available at: http://www.newapprenticeships.gov.au/.

Media Contact: Mr Hardgrave’s Office: Suzanne Ferguson 0402 896 100