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Victory! Illawarra surpasses Kickstart target



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THE HON JASON CLARE MP

PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR EMPLOYMENT

SHARON BIRD MP

FEDERAL MEMBER FOR CUNNINGHAM

JENNIE GEORGE MP

FEDERAL MEMBER FOR THROSBY

MEDIA RELEASE

VICTORY! Illawarra surpasses Kickstart target

March 5 2010

The Illawarra has surpassed its target of employing 500 apprentices over the summer, Parliamentary Secretary for Employment Jason Clare announced today.

“The latest figures are in - and we’ve given more than 506 apprentices a start,” Mr Clare said.

“That’s a terrific effort, and I want to pay tribute to the local businesses who’ve hired a teenage apprentice in the Illawarra.

“We know that the number of people starting apprenticeships in the traditional trades has plummeted by around 20 per cent over the past year.

“That’s why the Rudd Government developed Apprentice Kickstart which more than tripled the first year bonus paid to employers who take on traditional trades apprentices over the summer.

“And it has delivered for the Illawarra.”

Local MPs Jennie George, who is also the Chair of the Illawarra Apprenticeships Committee and Sharon Bird congratulated everyone involved.

Ms George said apprentices in the Illawarra dropped from 502 in 2008 to 389 in 2009.

“The Illawarra needed more apprentices.

“Thanks to Apprentice Kickstart and the efforts of local employers we’ve boosted apprentice numbers above what they were before the global recession,” Ms George said.

“It is a wonderful result for the Illawarra.”

Ms Bird paid tribute to the local community for getting behind the campaign for more apprentices in the Illawarra.

“This is fantastic news - not just for the apprentices who now have a job and a career path but for the whole Illawarra,” Ms Bird said.

“It was a community effort backed by a great Rudd Government initiative. I want to congratulate all the businesses and local industry groups who made it a success.”