Media Release: Victorian Government commits to long term support of apprentices through the group training industry


AEN Board and Mandy Macdonald with Minister Tierney

Earlier today the Hon. Gayle Tierney, Minister for Training and Skills announced that the Victorian Government will commit to provide $9.3 million in funding over the next 3 years to support Victorian group training organisations employ thousands of apprentices and trainees.

The announcement was made at the Ballarat Group Training (BGT) Office. BGT currently support over 135 local apprentices and trainees and have supported over 5,000 youth over the past 30 years.

Currently the Victorian group training industry employs over 7000 apprentices and trainees each year across Victoria in all industry sectors with a heavy focus on traditional trade areas. GTO’s work with local communities and employers to match young people with meaningful work.

“We estimate this funding will support over 11,000 new apprentice and trainee commencements over the next 3 years and support in excess of 17,000 apprentices and trainees in Metropolitan and regional Victoria. Our network provides real job opportunities for young people and provides flexibility and support for small businesses across a wide range of trades and industry sectors”.

“Group training provides a safety net and flexibility for both the apprentice and host employer over the period of their training and we congratulate the Victorian Government on their long term commitment to our industry” said Dean Luciani, AEN Chair and CEO of Westvic Staffing Solutions based in Warrnambool.

Minister for Training and Skills, Gayle Tierney, said, “Group Training Organisations play a crucial role supporting Victorians to develop the skills they need to get long-lasting and rewarding jobs.”

Gary Workman, Executive Director of AEN, also discussed the valuable work that group training organisations provide in their local communities.

“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.”

“We congratulate the Victorian government on their announcement today. It strongly demonstrates the government’s commitment to apprenticeships and traineeships and will ensure young workers receive real skills and training, and valuable career opportunities, which will provide a strong foundation for our economy into the future”.

Word count: 306

For further details on the event.

Gary Workman, Executive Director
Apprenticeship Employment Network
0425 736 036 | |

Dean Luciani, Chair 
Apprenticeship Employment Network
0418 516 908 | |

Mandy Macdonald, Chief Executive Officer
0419 115 331 | |

Background information

The Victorian Government’s Group Training funding totals $3.1 million each year and supports apprentices and trainees in skill shortage industries, also provides local GTO’s support when working with our youth, disadvantaged workers, long term unemployed, culturally and linguistically diverse, and indigenous participants looking to enter the workforce.

*The Apprenticeship Employment Network is the peak body representing not for profit group training organisations that employ over 7,000+ apprentices and trainees across all industry sectors annually within Victoria. 

In November 2015 AEN celebrated its 30th anniversary since the establishment of group training in Victoria. AEN estimate that during this period Victorian GTOs have employed over 170,000 apprentices and trainees in a wide range of industries across regional and metropolitan Victoria.


Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney

“Group Training Organisations play a crucial role supporting Victorians to develop the skills they need to get long-lasting and rewarding jobs.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard

“This funding means apprentices and trainees will receive the support they need to finish their apprenticeship with a wide range of skills and experience – giving them the best possible start to their career.”

Quotes Attributable to Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight

“We’re strengthening apprenticeships and traineeships to give people in the Ballarat region the skills they need to get a job.”