Apprenticeships are the heart of the skills and training system. If Australia is to tackle today’s workforce and skills shortages it must take a fresh approach to attraction, retention, and completion rates. This will improve outcomes for employers their apprentices and trainees.
NAAA recommends that the Albanese Government work with employers, unions, states, and territories to:
1. Develop a new approach to apprentice and trainee wages that minimises apprentice job switching and addresses cost of living pressures. This will increase completion rates and improve employers’ return on investment.
2. Expand the New Energy Apprenticeships model that provides direct payments to apprentices, to all vocations on the skills priority list. Do this whilst employers and unions develop a new approach to apprentice and trainee wages.
3. Increase wage subsidies for employers to engage trainees and apprentices, recognising the supervisory responsibilities and coaching role employers play over the full duration of the apprenticeship.
4. Extend the mentoring places – targeted in-training support, to keep pace with increasing demand by having a place available for all that need it.
5. Agree sustained recurrent funding increases for the VET system. With Jobs and Skills Australia guiding allocations of skills investments, easing workforce pressures, and containing a division that specialises in apprenticeships.
6. Expand gateway careers advice about apprenticeships and VET pathways so it is available to all Australian schools. Further develop cohort specific pre-apprenticeships and foundation skills training to facilitate greater diversity and inclusion of all Australians.
See press release here:Apprenticeships jobs and skills – Press Release