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New apprenticeships reach record numbers.

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Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs


27 January 2000





A record number of 286,100 young Australians were in apprenticeships at the end of September 1999, up 40.5% over the year from September 1998, under the Howard Government’s New Apprenticeship system.


The National Council for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) released the new apprenticeship numbers today.


Speaking at the launch of the Customer Service 2000 Traineeship in Sydney today the Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs, Dr David Kemp said that he was delighted to see the strong employer response to the Government’s New Apprenticeship system. The numbers in apprenticeships have doubled since the Howard Government came to office.


“Australia needs to lift its skill levels significantly to compete successfully in the global economy,” said Dr Kemp.


“The Howard Government’s New Apprenticeships are lifting skill levels dramatically across the economy. They provide quality training and opportunities for tens of thousands of businesses and for young Australians which did not exist four years ago."


Dr. Kemp made his remarks while launching another New Apprenticeship today in Sydney which is expected to create more than 1, 300 jobs, further underlining the Commonwealth’s commitment to increase skills levels of Australia’s young people.


The newly launched Customer Service 2000 Traineeship joins a growing list of over 500 New Apprenticeships available nationally.


“This New Apprenticeship will increase skill levels of trainees in key Olympic related industries such as retail, tourism and hospitality,” Dr. Kemp said.


Dr Kemp said that the outstanding success of the Commonwealth’s New Apprenticeships programme is evidence that the community is embracing New Apprenticeships.


“I hope that more and more parents will become aware of the quality education and training opportunities offered by New Apprenticeships. You don’t have to go to university to get started on a quality career which can lead right to the top,” said Dr Kemp.


“On-the-job training where young people can get nationally recognised qualifications while earning an income are flexible, practical, business friendly and create a win-win for everyone involved. New Apprenticeship qualifications can provide credit for diplomas and other qualifications as well.”


The latest figures released by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) show a dramatic 40.5% growth in national training numbers in the 12 months since September 1998.


“For the first time Australia has a national training system which is flexible enough to meet the skill needs of a rapidly growing economy. I hope that even more employers will take advantage of the opportunities this enterprise-friendly system provides to meet skill needs in areas of shortage,” said Dr Kemp.


There were 197,400 estimated commencements in the last twelve months, representing an increase of 51.1%. The total number of females in training has increased by two-thirds since September 1998 (68.7%). “These figures break the stereotype that New Apprenticeships are mainly for young males.” said Dr Kemp.


Dr Kemp welcomed the fact that under the New Apprenticeship system training in the traditional trades was now recovering after the downturn resulting from Labor’s recession. New Apprenticeships in traditional trades grew by 14% in the year to September 1999. The industries with the largest proportions of the total numbers in training were construction, automotive and mechanical and fabrication engineering. The strongest growth occurred in the skilled agriculture and horticulture workers (increase of 31%) and food trades (increase of 27%).


The most dramatic growth in the 12 months to September 1999 has occurred in non-traditional areas including elementary clerical, sales and service workers (increase of 219%) and intermediate production and transport workers (increase of 112%).


“The New Apprenticeship system is lifting skill levels across most industries now,” said Dr Kemp.


The majority of New Apprenticeships are at the higher qualifications levels with 71% of New Apprenticeships being at the AQF3 level and above.


Developed by the NSW branch of the Australian Retailers’ Association and Tourism Training NSW, the Customer Ser vice 2000 Traineeship is jointly supported by the Commonwealth and New South Wales governments with the Commonwealth contributing $205,500 and New South Wales, $75,000.


NCVER report contact

Colleen Young (08) 8333 8496 or 0414 584 142

Media contact for

Dr Kemp: Samantha Herron or Brooke Lord (02) 6277 7460 or 0412 639754

·  Journalists wanting comment from Dr Kemp please note that he will be in Sydney, today, Thursday 27 January and will be making the formal announcement of the record numbers at the launch of the Customer Service 2000 training package, at 11 .00am, at Jordans Seafood Restaurant, Harbourside, Darling Harbour, Sydney.

He will be available for interview from that location and via phone after that time.


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