Support For 10,000 First-Year Apprentices Will Continue

The Andrews Labor Government will invest $3.5 million in funding to continue support and guidance to apprentices aged 15 to 24 during the first year of their apprenticeship, after the program was cut by the previous Liberal Government.

Acting Minister for Training and Skills, Jenny Mikakos, announced today that the Labor Government will fund the Apprenticeship Support Officer program for another 12 months, delivered through the TAFE network.

The Apprenticeship Support Officer program helps about 10,000 apprentices each year, and funding was due to end on June 30, after it was cut by the previous Liberal Government.

The program has proven successful in keeping apprentices engaged in their training, with almost 400 apprentices still in their apprenticeship who would otherwise have dropped out.

Apprenticeship Support Officers are an integral part of the following TAFEs:

  •       Bendigo Kangan Institute (Bendigo)
  •       Bendigo Kangan Institute (Essendon)
  •       Box Hill TAFE (Box Hill)
  •       Chisholm Institute (Frankston)
  •       The Gordon Institute (Geelong)
  •       SuniTAFE (Mildura)
  •       Federation Training (Warragul)
  •       South West TAFE (Warrnambool)
  •       Wodonga TAFE (Wodonga)

The Gordon also services the Ballarat area and Wodonga TAFE services the Shepparton area.

Ms Mikakos said it is even more important the program continued given that the Commonwealth has cut $10 million out of apprenticeship support through its new Australian Apprenticeship Support Network, as part of its $2 billion cuts to skills and training and apprenticeships.

Ms Mikakos said the Labor Government will keep the Commonwealth on notice regarding support for young apprentices in their first year to ensure no one falls through the gaps at a time of high youth unemployment.

The Labor Government is committed to supporting apprentices as part of its Back to Work Plan to create at least 100,000 jobs.

Ms Mikakos said helping young people get an apprenticeship and stick with it would assist in tackling the high youth unemployment rate.

Quotes attributable to Acting Minister for Training and Skills, Jenny Mikakos

“Apprentices are the high-skilled workers of the future, and this Government is making sure they have the training and support they need for a long-lasting career.”

“By extending the Apprenticeship Support Officer program for 12 months, we will provide first year apprentices across the state with mentoring and support, helping them to stay engaged in their training.”

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