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Boost for industrial training

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Embargo: For Press and Media Release 7 pm 14 July 1976 · ■


A recent national survey of 140 firms indicated an average annual expenditure on training of only $40 per employee.

The national apprenticeship intake for 1976 is expected to be 9 per cent lower than in 1975. In some trades there are about 100 young people seeking apprenticeships for every vacancy registered with the Commonwealth Employment Service.

These facts provide disturbing evidence which suggests that industrial recovery will be retarded by shortages of trained manpower. .

Mr Street was announcing an extension of the terms of reference of the National Training Council and an increased allocation of Commonwealth Government funds for manpower training programs on the eve of the Council's 11th meeting to be held in Adelaide on 15 July.

Council's activities would now be extended to cover the whole range of Commonwealth Government manpower training programs including the National Employment and Training System (NEAT), apprenticeship support, and training for industry and commerce.

It was anticipated that Commonwealth Government expenditure on these training programs during 1976/77 would be close to $80 million.

The success of the programs depended upon the co-operative efforts and advice of employer organisations, trade unions, and State and Commonwealth Labour and Education authorities.

These various interests/together with industry leaders with special expertise, made up the member­ ship of the National Training Council.

Congratulating the Council and its Chairman, Mr Peter Derham, on what had already been achieved, Mr Street said the Council's success demonstrated how employer, employee, and Govern­ ment organisations could work in harmony for the benefit of the whole community.

The Council and its constituent Industry Training Committees provide a model of the effectiveness of tripartite consulation. There were over 160 employer and trade union organisations working together through Industry Training Committees to develop better training in some 15 major industry sectors covering more than one third of the private sector workforce.

I have asked the National Training Council to continue to encourage the formation of Industry Training Committees. They are the principal means by which industry itself is able to plan for future manpower and skill requirements.


For its part, the Government has decided to encourage the work of the Committees by providing almost $1 million to stimulate training in industry and commerce — an increase of some 50 per cent over expenditure in this area during 1975/76. .

These funds will also provide for a major expansion in the Council's programs for aiding the development of training for industry and commerce, including Group Training Schemes for Small Firms.

Finally, I shall be looking to the Council for advice on the ways in which industry can be encouraged to provide more training for skill in the workforce.

Improvements in training throughout industry and commerce are a vital element in the Government's policies for overcoming inflation and unemployment. I am sure that with the encouragement provided by the National Training Council, industry will respond positively to the measures that I have announced today.


13 July 1976 55/76