FROM – The Age, Melbourne ……… The best way to encourage young people to become skilled and employed is by working directly with employers. Employer-based trainee and apprenticeship schemes like ours, Group Training, have shown that when you meet the costs of taking on these inexperienced and relatively risky hires, and ensure the young people receive the training and experience required to meet their qualifications, you get the desired results……….there is an important role for employer-based training that cannot be replaced by bureaucrats. Skills are best learnt through a combination of on- and off-the-job training, particularly for young people who need to earn while they’re still learning.
These cuts in government funding for employer-based training couldn’t come at a worse time. Small and medium-sized businesses are struggling to remain competitive in many industries, and taking on trainees and apprentices is a resource-intensive investment that many businesses will not be able to afford without support.
The outcome of these funding cuts and revised policy objectives will be that employers will take on fewer trainees and apprentices, and existing gaps in the labour market will widen.
Australian governments must reinstate their goal to increase workforce participation if they are serious about better equipping the workforce into the future.
In order for our apprenticeship and trainee system to survive, governments need to focus on why we are training people – for jobs, not simply as a tick-box exercise.