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Tuesday, 4 October 1983
Page: 1317

Question No. 78

Mr McVeigh asked the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice, on 4 May 1983:

(1) Has his attention been drawn to the fact that there is a desire by young Australians to return to the land.

(2) If so, will he introduce a farm apprenticeship scheme, whereby farmers are given the same incentives to train apprentices as other employers.

Mr Kerin —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Yes.

(2) Any extension of apprenticeship training to farming occupations would be a matter for the State and Territory Governments who have the responsibility for the detailed administration of apprenticeship.

Occupations for which apprenticeship training is required are proclaimed by State Governments.

The Commonwealth Government provides financial assistance to employers in respect of apprentices under the Commonwealth Rebate for Apprentice Full-time Training (CRAFT) Scheme, which is administered by the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations. The Scheme provides wage related rebates to employers who engage apprentices in proclaimed trades which are approved by the Minister, and release them to attend technical education or other approved formal training .

State Government industrial training authorities in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania have already proclaimed apprenticeship arrangements in farming occupations and employers who train apprentices under these arrangements are currently eligible to receive CRAFT rebates. I am advised that the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations is prepared to consider approving CRAFT rebates in respect of similar arrangements which may be adopted in other States and Territories.