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Australian apprentices gain from skilled migrants.

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Senator Chris Evans Minister for Immigration and Citizenship

Australian apprentices gain from skilled migrants

Thursday 30 October 2008

An Australian recruitment firm will fund a new scholarship program at Swan TAFE as part of an on-hire labour agreement for the recruitment of overseas skilled workers, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans said today.

Senator Evans said Interstaff Recruitment will provide annual funding for a range of scholarships for Australian apprentices and trainees and include dedicated scholarships for Indigenous and financially disadvantaged apprentices.

The agreement will enable Interstaff to sponsor the entry of up to 100 temporary overseas skilled workers in areas of high need on subclass 457 visas.

Senator Evans said the scholarship program met the company’s requirement to commit 2% of its total wage bill to the provision of training in order to secure a labour agreement.

Interstaff specialises in recruiting skilled workers across a range of industries including the health, engineering, construction and childcare sectors.

'The funding of the scholarship program is an innovative solution which will provide training opportunities for young Australians while meeting the immediate skills needs in industries where labour is still in demand, especially in Western Australia and Queensland,' Senator Evans said.

'This is a win-win agreement for young apprentices and industry.'

Four Scholarship categories will be created under the program:

1. Eight (8) scholarships worth $2400.00 each for Financially Disadvantaged Apprentices 2. Ten (10) scholarships worth $2400.00 each for Indigenous Apprentices 3. Twenty (20) scholarships worth $1000.00 each for existing workers to undertake trade skills recognition (Recognition of Prior Learning) in four high demand areas:

• Building and Construction (Carpentry and Joinery) • Metals and Engineering (Fabrication) • Transport (Light Automotive) • Hospitality (Commercial Cookery).

4. Nine (9) Master-Class scholarships worth $1000.00 each for apprentices seeking high level training to attain master-class status within their trade in the areas of:

• Builders Registration (Nationally endorsed units) • Certificate IV in Automotive Mechanical Technology (Advanced Diagnostics) • Certificate IV in Fitting and Machining (Fluid