Media Release: Drop in apprentice numbers means regional school leavers will miss out


With the release of today’s year 12 VCE results, there is a concern that high school graduates are facing a drop in the number of apprenticeships, limiting their job prospects, the Group Training Association of Victoria said today.

Gary Workman, executive director of GTAV said the latest Victorian Government figures showed the number of apprentices in Victoria had dropped by 5 per cent over the year to September.

The number of apprentices aged 15-19 dropped by a massive 13 per cent over the same period.

“This is a worrying trend and shows that businesses are concerned about the economy and whether they can afford to put on an apprentice,” Mr Workman said.

“From the feedback Group Training Organisations are getting from employers, we don’t expect this to improve over the coming year” Mr Workman said.

“A drop in apprenticeships means that less young Victorians are able to get on a pathway to skilled, well-paid work.

“With VCE results announced next week, and thousands of school-leavers thinking about their job prospects, and we would encourage employers to support young people looking to start a traineeship or apprenticeship “.

“The Victorian Government has increased the support it provides for apprenticeships, but it is clear that this is not enough to counteract the poor economic conditions,” Mr Workman said.

“Businesses need the support of Governments to be able to provide apprenticeships and give young people the skills they need for a life in the workforce.

“The Federal Government has increased its funding through a temporary three-month recommencement of the Kickstart program but this has failed to make a difference in take-up rates so far. The Federal Government should continue the Kickstart program beyond February 2013.”

“Apprenticeships provide real skills and training for young workers. They have given thousands of Australians a start on meaningful careers.”

“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.”

“Group Training Organisations make it easier for businesses who want an apprentice by handling administrative details and ensuring that apprentices can be shifted to other workplaces if required, which provides greater flexibility and ongoing support.”

*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: Carla Drakeford (Essential Media) 0400 888 723