Today’s announcement that the Federal Government will continue funding to Victorian Group Training Organisations through the 2012/2013 financial year will enable Group Training Organisations (GTOs) to continue finding work for young people, and willing workers for local businesses.
Group Training Association of Victoria Executive Officer Gary Workman said the long-awaited decision would allow Group Training Organisations to continue a program that provided apprenticeships for 8500 young Victorians each year.
“The number of apprenticeships being offered to young Victorians has dropped by five per cent over the past year due to the tough economic climate. Cutting funding to Group Training would have further limited opportunities for young Victorians,” Mr Workman said.
“The Victorian Government has already committed funding to Group Training for 2012/2013 and the Federal Government’s announcement that it will match this funding at the same level as 2011/2012 (approximately a combined $6.3 million) will give GTOs some welcome certainty.
“We hope that both Governments will continue to support Group Training beyond this financial year,” Mr Workman said.
“Group Training has been placing young people into apprenticeships for over 30 years. We launch young workers into careers by giving them real skills and support.
“Australia is facing shortages of skilled workers in many areas and apprenticeships are a way of ensuring we have skilled workers for the future, and that we do not leave a generation of young people permanently locked out of the workforce.”
“Apprentices employed through Group Training Organisations have a higher completion rate than other apprentices, despite the fact that they are more likely to come from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“We are also a source of employees for small businesses, especially in regional Victoria.
“In Victoria 65% of employers who hire an apprentice through a Group Training Organisations have less than 10 employees.
“These employees might not take on an apprentice without the support of a GTO to find a suitable apprentice and handle administration.”
“Government funding can be the difference between being able to find jobs for these apprentices, and leaving them on the fringes of the workforce.”
“Group Training is an investment in young Australians and the Federal Government should be congratulated for continuing to invest in Group Training.”
*The Group Training Association of Victoria is the peak body representing not for profit group training organisations that employ over 8500 apprentices and trainees across all industry sectors annually within Victoria. Victorian GTO’s manage these training requirements through both TAFE and private training providers.
Further information: Ben Ruse (Essential Media) 0409 510 879