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Federal Budget must include completion bonus for apprenticeships in NSW.

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Hon Kim Beazley MP Federal Labor Leader

Jenny Macklin MP Deputy Federal Labor Leader Shadow Minister for Education, Training, Science & Research

3 May 2005


The Howard Government must introduce a $2,000 Trade Completion Bonus for NSW traditional apprentices in the upcoming Federal Budget.

The latest data indicates in NSW 16,700 people commenced a traditional trade apprenticeship last year.

Across Australia a staggering 40 per cent of people who start a New Apprenticeship do not complete their training.

On the national average that’s a projected loss of 6,700 apprentices in New South Wales.

A Trade Completion Bonus should be introduced by the Howard Government immediately to address this attrition.

And to help businesses in NSW get the skilled workers they need instead of waiting until 2010 for the Government’s technical colleges to produce their first tradesperson.

John Howard and Peter Costello must support Labor’s plan to get more traditional apprentices in NSW completing their training.

Under Labor’s proposal, traditional apprentices in the trades in NSW would receive a $1,000 payment half way through their training and a further $1,000 payment at the completion of their apprenticeship.

A Trade Completion Bonus should aim to lift completion rates in NSW from around 60 per cent to 80 per cent delivering more trained apprentices for NSW workplaces - that could mean an extra 3,350 qualified traditional trade apprentices.

Achieving an 80 per cent completion target nationally, this scheme would cost in the order of $80 million in 2006.

The Howard Government’s response to the skills crisis has been to over-rely on an imported skills quick fix.

Labor’s proposal would mean less reliance on importing skills from overseas. The Howard Government has imported 178,000 extra skilled migrants since 1997 but has turned away more than 270,000 Australians from TAFEs since 1998.

Labor’s position is clear: train Australians first and train Australians now.

Apprentices eligible for the Trade Completion Bonus should include:

• General & Off-site Construction • Automotive Service and Repair • Automotive Manufacturing • Metals and Engineering • Electrotechnology

• Baking • Hairdressing • Transmission and Distribution • Commercial Cookery

More info:

Contact: Kate Hannon 0407 787 181 (Beazley) Nick Talbot 0408 473 278 (Macklin)

3 May 2005