Boost of apprentice numbers highlights the huge task of creating 20,800 new apprentices and trainees in SA
Matt Smith, National Affairs Editor, Sunday Mail (SA)
September 7, 2019 9:00pm
Targets for apprentice and trainee numbers in South Australia could take decades to realise if current enrolment rates continue, new data shows.
Despite the highest jump in apprentices and trainee commencements in seven years the figures have highlighted the enormous task ahead of the State Government to deliver on its overhaul of the vocational education and training sector.
New figures from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research show that last year South Australia created an additional 115 apprentice or trainee commencements — well short of the 5,200 a year needed to hit the State Government’s target of 20,800 over four years.
The State Government is confident it can super charge the sector as part of a $200 million State and Commonwealth commitment to increase participation in the sector called Skilling South Australia.
But the State Opposition has raised concerns that the money being invested into improving the sector is not producing the necessary results.
Innovation and Skills Minster David Pisoni told the Sunday Mail his government inherited a broken system.
“The fact that this is the first time in seven years that there has been an increase in total commencements in SA shows there has been an improvement but there is still much more work to be done, and we are committed to the task,” he said.
“Skilling South Australia is a comprehensive four year strategy to directly tackle the problems we inherited from Labor.
“The first year is focused on stabilising the system and turning it around.
“Subsequent years will see us grow the system and roll out more and more programs to grow student numbers and expand the sector.
“Consequently, the targets for Skilling South Australia ramp up over time, with the first year’s target being a more modest stretch target than for years two, three and four.”
Labor industry and skills spokeswoman Clare Scriven said it was revealed in estimates in July the State and Federal Government had spent $34 million last financial year on the program.
“There has been a huge spend by Minister Pisoni for new apprenticeship commencements and yet completions are going down and withdrawals and cancellations continue to sky rocket,” she said.
“South Australian taxpayers need value for money — not reckless spending for very little return.
“The new figures show that the Marshall Liberal Government is set to fail in its election promise.”
The figures cover everything from traditional trades through to clerical workers and specialised technicians.
In April last year Federal Skills Minister Michaelia Cash announced “the Morrison Government will partner with the Marshall Liberal Government to create an additional 20,800 apprenticeships and traineeships in South Australia over the next four years.”
https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/sou ... cfa073bda6
The problem is that these sorts of programs are reliant on the job seeker chasing work. This doesn't actually do anything to help the job seeker, I could be mistaken.
A better program would be to have employers who are seeking apprentices and trainees, to register as such with say a government agency setup for this purpose, call it SkillingSA, where job seekers can go to and apply. As part of it, they should offer pre-voc programs, subsidised or paid for, to get job seekers 'job ready' for these trade industries.
Because most employers would prefer to have people who have some understanding of how to use tools (believe it or not many people are clueless on using tools), have some understanding on the industry they are entering and the job they are about to undertake.
What they are doing now is a massive waste of tax payers money, because essentially you are doing what you can do on your own anyway, go out and try and find an apprenticeship or traineeship. What do you need to the government for?
Whereas if they did something like I've suggested above, they'd have a few thousand new apprentices right now. And that would be a much better way to spend that $200 million because it would deliver positive results.
And more should be done to encourage businesses to take on mature age apprentices, because there's many people out there who are under employed in various industries, and would jump at the chance to change careers/industries if it meant continuous full time and secure work.