Apprentices and trainees who have lost their positions as a result of the coronavirus crisis will be able to register for help in finding new employers and staying engaged with their training.
The Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program is a collaboration between the Apprenticeship Employment Network, the peak body for group training employers, and the Victorian Government.
Early indications show that more than 850 Victorian apprentices and trainees had their training contracts put on hold across March and April due to the impacts of the coronavirus crisis. It is expected that in the short-term there will be a growing pool of displaced apprentices and trainees.
By helping them to complete their apprenticeships or traineeships, the program will ensure participants are well placed to contribute to a skilled and productive workforce as Victoria moves towards a period of recovery.
Apprentices and trainees who register will be supported by a project officer until they are placed with an employer.
Employers can also register at the site, making the process of matching them with displaced trainees and apprentices easier.
This initiative builds on the Government’s $4.7 million funding to extend the successful Apprenticeship Support Officer program, to continue to support apprentices.
A further $43.8 million investment was made to lift the quality of apprenticeships by supporting the introduction of independent assessments, updated learning materials and the reintroduction of trade papers
The register is up and running at aen.org.au/outoftrade.
“This program will help young people stay engaged with the workforce and ensure Victoria has the skills it needs to recover from the economic downturn,” says Gary Workman, CEO of the Apprenticeship Employment Network.
“During times like these apprentices and trainees are among the most vulnerable when it comes to losing work. That’s why we’re taking action to support them, so they are well placed as we start to recover from the virus,” says Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education Gayle Tierney.
“I urge all apprentices and trainees who have been impacted by coronavirus to take advantage of this program – to help them keep learning and return to work.”
Gary Workman, Executive Director of the Apprenticeship Employment Network, is available for comment.
Media contact: Parnell Palme-McGuinness 0412 22 82 82