Apprenticeship Employment Network and Global Apprenticeship Network Australia
Welcomes Budget Package for Apprenticeships and Vocational Education

  • Boosted incentives for identified skills shortages will address the disconnect between training and employment outcomes
  • Cash incentive for businesses will encourage them to invest in training up new apprentices
  • Opportunities exist to widen the apprenticeship system to match international best practice

Apprenticeship Employment Network CEO Gary Workman has welcomed the Federal Government’s budget announcement of a $525 million skills package, ensuring that Australians are able to develop the skills they need for the jobs of today, and the jobs of tomorrow. Mr Workman noted that the strong engagement with business and training organisations will be crucial to the success of the package.

“Creating 80,000 new apprenticeships in industries with skills shortages is a great step by the Australian government to ensure people are able to get a job, and businesses are able to find staff when and where they need them,” said Mr Workman on Wednesday.

“Close consultation with business to properly understand where skills shortages exist, and targeting apprentice places to fill those gaps will be key to ensuring that this program is effective.”

AEN and GAN Australia has advocated for greater engagement with business in determining where to increase apprentice places in a submission to the Joyce Review, the report of which is greatly anticipated by the sector.

AEN and GAN Australia welcomed the announcement of ten new training hubs connecting schools, local industries, and young people in regional areas with high youth unemployment, noting that it is critical to ensure places are targeted in areas of need.

These initiatives will be able to assist with the current mismatch we see everyday of apprenticeship vacancies in many industry sectors and youth unemployment.

Again, strong engagement with industry is key. “International best practice shows that the best outcomes occur in thin markets where apprentices are contracted to a group training organisation, and then placed with different businesses where there is need. This would be a particularly strong model in rural and regional areas, where businesses may not be able to support full time apprentice training.”

“It would be fantastic to see some of the $9 billion investment in science, research and technology directed to apprenticeships in this area. While apprenticeships in Australia are usually considered to be in blue-collar sectors, there is significant evidence that vocational training in more white-collar professions is efficient and effective in ensuring opportunities for young people” said Mr Workman.

The Global Apprenticeship Network looks forward to working with government to ensure this skills package is used to the best possible advantage of Australians looking to gain new skills to get a job, and businesses across the economy needing highly skilled workers.

Gary Workman, CEO of the Apprenticeship Employment Network is available for comment.

Amy Leiper: 0414 643 446 Email: