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Building up rural and regional Australia: new apprenticeships a vital tool.

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Media Release



K195 23 October 2000

The Federal Government today stepped up its efforts to ensure local communities in regional and rural Australia have the necessary skills and job opportunities to prosper in the years ahead.

Launching a major national communications campaign for New Apprenticeships in regional and rural Australia in Nowra on the NSW south coast, Dr Kemp said employers and young people in rural and regional Australia would be targeted with information about how New Apprenticeships could enhance their skills base and provide real employment opportunities.

"This is a time when smaller communities are looking to their future and how to prosper in a highly competitive environment. They are also keen to keep their home-grown talent which is vital to preserving and building the social fabric of rural and regional communities in the 21st century," Dr Kemp said.

"The skills and development of people, especially young people, must be the number one consideration -- and that’s exactly what New Apprenticeships are about.

"The Government understands the vital contribution made by employers who offer local training and employment opportunities, which in turn help to keep communities alive and


"Thousands of employers in rural and regional areas are already contributing enormously to their local communities by using New Apprenticeships, but research tells us these communities want even more information about the benefits.

"We are responding directly and in a positive way to these demands."

Over 250,000 Australians in rural and regional areas have already benefited from New Apprenticeships to date.

Focusing on key rural and regional industries of agriculture, automotive, electrical and production horticulture, the communications campaign drives home the messages to both employers and young people of the benefits of the flexible, nationally recognised training available under New Apprenticeships.

"In rural areas, New Apprenticeships offer families the chance to give young people - even their own children - structured training on the family farm," Dr Kemp said.

"But regional communities are also about more than agriculture and there are New Apprenticeships in sectors as diverse as information technology, retail trade, tourism, hospitality, property and business services, community services and health, finance and communication."

The Federal Government supports New Apprenticeships with financial incentives of up to $4,400 for New Apprenticeships employers, with an additional $1,100 incentive for employers in areas where there is an identified skill shortage in rural and regional Australia.

The number of New Apprenticeships Centres in rural and regional areas has also increased from 118 to 197 in the past 12 months, underlining the Government’s commitment to providing the right support for employers and their New Apprentices.

As part of the new campaign, Dr Kemp also launched the Minister’s Awards for Excellence to recognise and reward rural and regional employers for the way they use New Apprenticeships to provide quality training opportunities in

their local communities.

"The contribution employers make to their communities in rural and regional Australia cannot be underestimated. These Awards are an important way of recognising the role they play in helping people reach their full potential through employment and training," the Minister said.

Rural and regional employers in 16 regions across Australia will nominate through their local New Apprenticeships Centre and winners will be eligible for $5,000 each. Winners will be announced in April next year.

Additional information on New Apprenticeships is available from your local New Apprenticeships Centre or by visiting the website at For the location of your New Apprenticeships Centre please call 1800 639 629.

Media enquiries: Catherine Job 02 6277 7460 or 0412 918 110

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