Australia, C&L, Cranes & Lifting, Industry News, News

Government to review apprenticeships incentive system

Team builder working adjust pillar with crane lifting prefabricated pillar concrete for installation in project house construction site. Steel formwork support.

The Australian Government has announced it will conduct a “strategic review” of the Australian apprenticeships incentive system.

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Announced on February 19, 2024, the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations appointed the Honourable Justice Iain Ross AO and Ms Lisa Paul to lead the review. News of the review comes as Australia faces one of its worst skills shortages ever, with Jobs and Skills Australia saying that 36 per cent of occupations are assessed as “in shortage”, with over 50 per cent of businesses in the ‘Technicians & Trade Workers’ categories experiencing a shortage, as well as a 34 per cent shortage in ‘Machinery Operators & Drivers’.

In tandem with the skills shortage, the National Centre for Vocational Education Research revealed that, for qualifications commencing in 2017, programs held just a 47.6 per cent completion rate.

“Getting the best outcomes for apprentices and trainees is vital to ensuring we have the skills our economy needs,” said Minister for Skills and Training, Brendan O’Connor. “We know that almost half of all apprentices don’t complete their training; addressing the completion rate is not just vitally important for individuals and employers, but also for the Australian economy.”

According to a press release from the Minister for Skills and Training, the review will look at how the incentive system and complementary services are helping the take up of apprenticeships, the impact of cost-of-living pressures, how the apprenticeship system can best support high quality results, if the current system is creating an encouraging environment for diverse people, and how the Incentive System can be aligned with the priorities in the 2023 Employment White Paper as well as the Government’s broader economic objectives.

Independent Tertiary Education Council of Australia Chief Executive, Troy Williams, said the review of the Australian apprenticeships incentive system is overdue, but necessary.

“This review is timely and necessary,” he said, “given the significant decline in apprentice and trainee commencements over the past year across sectors including construction, manufacturing through to the healthcare, retail and tourism sectors.”

The review is accepting written submissions until May 15, 2024, and will establish a national program of online and face to face consultations in coming weeks.

Submissions can be made here.


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