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Two new apprenticeship schemes



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INEWS RELEASE FROM THE MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS THE HON. TONY STREET, M.R

AND THE MINISTER FOR PRODUCTIVITY THE HON. IAN MACPHEE, M.R

EMBARGO 5 pm 16/1/77

TWO NEW APPRENTICESHIP SCHEMES

The Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, the Hon Tony Street MP, and the Minister for Productivity, the Hon Ian Macphee MP, today announced two major new initiatives to greatly improve the employment opportunities for young people seeking to enter the skilled trades. The schemes are the result of months of intensive work into the dual problems of youth employment and skill shortages.

CRAFT - NEW FINANC IA L SUPPORT SCHEME FOR APPRENTICESHIP

The first of these initiatives is the introduction of a completely new scheme of financial support for apprenticeship. The new scheme - Commonwealth Rebate for Apprentice Full­ Time Training (CRAFT) — will replace the existing National Apprenticeship Assistance Sheme (NAAS).

An increase in the supply of skilled tradesmen is a vital ingredient for economic recovery. Apprenticeship provides the main source of our future tradesmen. The purpose of CRAFT is to increase the training of tradesmen through apprenticeship and provide more opportunities for school leavers to train for worthwhile and satisfying careers.

Apprenticeship is unique in that employers are legally required to release apprentices, with pay, for compulsory techical training.

CRAFT will provide rebates to employers in respect of all apprentices released to attend technical colleges for compulsory full-time basic trade training. Rebates will also be payable in respect of apprentices undertaking approved full-time off-the-job training.

The key feature of the new scheme is that rebates will be free of Commonwealth taxation.

We anticipate that CRAFT will provide the basis for fundamental changes to training for the skilled trades. It acknowledges that the community should support the technical costs of apprentice training as it supports education for the professions and sub-professional occupations.

CRAFT aims to encourage the provision of technical training in the early stages of apprenticeship. This will speed the acquisition of basic skills and increase the productivity of apprentices.

First or second year apprentices required to live away from home to obtain or remain in apprenticeship will be eligible for allowances under CRAFT.

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CRAFT has been developed in consultation with the State Labour Ministers. Following the Commonwealth's decision to exempt the rebates from CommonwealtH taxation, if is now for the States to consider the removal of payroll tak from Apprentice employment.

CRAFT will effectively offset the costs of apprentice training and.employment faced by employers: It is now up to employers to respond positively to the.pew Scheme. We hope to increase the national apprentice intake by 1,000 this financial year and to 48,000 by 1979/80 — an increase of some 12,000 apprenticeship places on.current levels. > :.·

The rebates, which will be index annually, are as follows:

Employer Rebate for Release to Basic Trade.Course , ..............................

Stage 1 and 2 of course $11 per day

Stage 3 and 4 of course $11 per day if completed in first year or $15 per day if completed after first year.

Rebates will be payable on completion of each stage of the Basic Trade Course. ;

Employer Rebate for Approved off-the-job Training

$5.50 per day payable quarterly or on completion of course if earlier (Maximum 260 Working Days)

Apprentice Allowance for Living-Away-From-Home Expenses

1st year of Apprenticeship $17.60 per week

2nd year of Apprenticeship $6.80 per week

The scheme starts with effect from 15/1/77. All apprentices who start their employment on or after that date will come within the scope of the scheme.

The existing NAAS arrangements will continue in respect of apprentices who commenced employment prior to 15 January 1977.

$5.4M FOR PRE-APPRENTICESHIP AND ACCELERATED TR A IN IN G

Secondly the Government has decided that an additional $5.4M should be made available to assist young people in obtaining apprenticeships or to enable apprentices already in training to become more productive. Each State has been granted additional funds to enable them to provide additional technical education training in the context of apprenticeship training.

In States other than Victoria, the funds now provided would be part of measures which would result in more than 3,000 new pre-apprenticeship and vocational training places becoming available. Of these, more than 1,800 pre-apprenticeship places will be provided directly by the Commonwealth funds. Pre-apprenticeship courses are designed to provide young people who wish to become apprentices with skills which can be used immediately they start their apprenticeship. The courses exempt potential apprentices from one or more stages of compulsory technical education during apprenticeship and the apprentices can thus spend

less time away from work. The young people participating in pre-apprenticeship training are also eligible for allowances under either the NEAT system or the Tertiary Education Allowance Scheme (TEAS).

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In Victoria the money made available by the Commonwealth would be used to start a special programme of accelerating the technical education of some 4,000 young people already under­ going apprenticeships. Under this programme technical education of an apprentice which is normally a three year commitment, will be.completed within the first two years of the apprenticeship. Apprentices entering this programme will therefore become more productive at an earlier stage and more useful to their employers. It is estimated that one effect of accelerating technical education in this way will be that an additional 1,200 apprenticeships will be generated in the future in Victoria.

Mr Street and Mr Macphee said that details of the new schemes would be immediately formally conveyed to the States, the National Training Council and the peak employer and union organisations represented on it. ,

MELBOURNE

16 January 1977

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