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$433 million to meet demand for new apprenticeships.

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Media release



Minister for Schools, Vocational Education and Training

Senator for Western Australia



12 May 1998




The Federal Government has allocated $43 3 million in the 1998-99 Budget to underpin strong growth in New Apprenticeships, the Minister for Schools, Vocational Education and Training, Senator Chris Ellison, said today.


“New Apprenticeships incorporate and build on the strengths of the apprenticeship and traineeship systems,” Senator Ellison said.


“The number of trainees and apprentices in training reached record levels at the end of 1997, with over 182,000 people in contracted training - an increase of 12.7 per cent on 1996. If current trends continue, we expect that during 1998, people in training will exceed 200,000 for the first time.


“There is clear evidence that the New Apprenticeships initiatives introduced by this Government are meeting industry needs. Employers in a broader range of industries are increasingly finding that the responsiveness and flexibility of the national training system is meeting the needs of their business.


“The Budget includes $296 million in 1998-99 for employer incentives and benefits to young people to encourage their participation in New Apprenticeships. This funding provides for more than 120,000 New Apprenticeships commencements in the coming financial year.”


The Government will further assist small and medium-sized employers to access New Apprenticeships by providing loan guarantees of up to $30 million to Group Training Companies.


“Group Training Companies around Australia employ and hire out around 25,000 apprentices and trainees to small and medium-sized enterprises for their training period. Access to additional working capital will assist eligible Group Training Companies to significantly increase the number of New Apprentices,” Senator Ellison said.


The New Apprenticeships allocation of $433 million is part of the Government’s total commitment to the vocational education and training sector of more than $1.4 billion in 1998-99.


In calendar year 1998, the Commonwealth will provide about $904 million to State and Territory training systems through the Australian National Training Authority (ANTA). States and Territories plan to deliver 44,000 additional student places through efficiencies in 1998.


Other features of the 1998-99 Budget allocation for New Apprenticeships include:


- $57 million for vocational education and training initiatives in schools. An additional $13.6 million has been provided over two years for the Jobs Pathway Programme.

- $23 million to help disadvantaged unemployed people gain a New Apprenticeship including an additional $6.4 million over two years to help an extra 1900 young people gain the skills necessary to begin an apprenticeship.

- $16 million to support and increase the number of New Apprentices in group training.


Media inquiries: Stephanie Wood, Senator Ellison’s Office, 06 6277 7540 or 0412 257 563