Australian Budget Revealed Reflecting Key Government Priorities

Canberra, ACT, Australia ( May 11, 2011

Australian Budget Revealed Reflecting Key Government Priorities

Australian Budget Revealed Reflecting Key Government Priorities

The Prime Minister Julia Gillard said reforms unveiled in the Budget will help get more Australians into work and keep our robust economy the envy of the world.

The Budget reflects the key priorities of the Gillard Labor Government – giving people the security and dignity that comes with a job and maintaining a strong economy.

The Prime Minister, Treasurer Wayne Swan and Minister for Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, Chris Evans today met apprentices at the Fyshwick Trade Skills Centre.

The Budget contains fundamental reforms to the apprenticeship system which will help deliver the skilled workers our economy needs.

The Gillard Government will invest $3 billion in new skills and training programs over the next 6 years under the Building Australia’s Future Workforce initiative.

This will help strengthen our workforce – ensuring more Australians can share in the country’s growing prosperity.

The Treasurer said 500,000 new jobs will be created over the next two years – adding to the 750,000 jobs already created under this Government.

The skills package includes more than $200 million to boost apprentice completion rates, provide mentoring support and enable apprentices to complete their training more quickly.

These reforms will help create a smarter and faster apprenticeship system to tackle critical skill shortages and maintain Australia’s global competitive edge.

To lift apprenticeship completions and speed up training for experienced workers, the Government will invest:

  • $101 million over four years for an Apprenticeship Mentoring package, helping individuals to choose the right training pathway and supporting them to complete their training; and
  • $100 million over four years for Accelerated Australian Apprenticeships, to support innovative training models that enable apprentices to move through their training and advance to the next level of learning and pay, provided quality standards are met.

Skills Councils and peak industry bodies will be encouraged to introduce innovative training models to support the apprenticeship reform measures.

This will ensure the modern apprenticeship system is flexible and responsive to industry needs.

It is anticipated that the first supported projects will be announced in the second half of 2011.

The Apprenticeship Mentoring package will see $79.9 million invested over four years to engage 300 mentors who will guide and support more than 10,000 Apprentices in selected occupations each year.

The mentors will work closely with students in their first year of training when the drop-out rate is at its highest.

A further, $21.5 million will be provided over two years to employ 140 Apprenticeship Advisors to strengthen recruitment into apprenticeships, guide applicants into the right trade apprenticeship and provide advice to employers.

Senator Evans said making sure people choose the right trade and then supporting them in the first years of their training are proven ways of lifting apprenticeship retention rates.

Increasing the number of Australian apprentices is critical to meeting the growing demand for skilled workers.

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