Coalition invests $1.5 million to support Victoria’s apprentices

Minister for Higher Education and Skills Nick Wakeling today announced that a support program for apprentices will continue thanks to a $1.5 million investment by the Victorian Coalition Government.

Mr Wakeling said the funding would allow the Apprenticeship Support Officer program to operate for a further six months, ahead of the start of the Commonwealth Government’s new Australian Apprentice Support Network next July.

“The Apprenticeship Support Officer program provides targeted pastoral care to young apprentices in the early stages of their apprenticeship which is often when students are most at risk of leaving their courses,” Mr Wakeling said.

Last week, Mr Wakeling welcomed the Commonwealth Government’s review of training packages and accredited courses, which will give all students a better chance of gaining employment.

“Victoria’s TAFE and training system has already been refocussed to match the rapid pace of structural change in the Victorian economy by developing stronger partnerships with industry and employers,” Mr Wakeling said.

“The Victorian Coalition Government has increased funding for the TAFE and training system from just over $800 million under Labor to $1.2 billion per year. This is an increase of 50 per cent.

“In recognition of the key role apprentices play in meeting our state’s skills needs, we have also increased the average subsidy for traditional trade apprenticeships to around $14,000 across an apprenticeship,” Mr Wakeling said.

Mr Wakeling said the Napthine Government has worked hard to fix Labor’s bungled attempt at reforming the training sector in 2008.

“We now have a training system that is focused on delivering skills that allow graduates to gain long term and meaningful jobs,” Mr Wakeling said.

“Our industry participation model has ensured 72 per cent of training is now in areas of skills shortage and employment growth – more than ever before.”