Labor will boost apprentice numbers across the country by ensuring Commonwealth funded projects prioritise Australian jobs.
Labor will set a target that at least one in 10 jobs on major projects will be filled by apprentices.
Boosting the number of apprenticeships is a key part of Labor’s skills and training agenda to deliver more local jobs.
On the basis of the commitments Labor took to the election, this would have resulted in at least an additional 2,600 apprenticeship placements from this initiative.
Successful contracts and funding agreements with state and territory governments will be contingent on major contractors being part of Apprenticeship and Training Plans.
Apprenticeship and Training Plans will link in with local TAFEs and operate to upskill workers in the local area.
We will also work with defence suppliers to ensure apprenticeships are maximised.
Labor believes that all Australians should have access to the skills and training they need for decent jobs throughout their working lives – to actively participate in the community and share in national prosperity.
But you cannot have a plan for Australian jobs without a plan for Australian apprenticeships.
Under the Liberals, Australia has shed 128,000 apprenticeships and in the last 12 months, trade apprentice commencements have dropped 10.5 per cent.
This is unacceptable.
Worse still, the Liberals are refusing to crack down on abuses in the 457 visa system, where it has become too easy to import skills rather than train Australians.
In the face of decline the Coalition has cut $1 billion from the apprenticeship programs while undermining trades training and qualifications by prioritising the trial of an apprenticeship model that does away with the employment relationship – the fundamental feature of quality apprenticeships.
Labor’s plan will see apprenticeship numbers rise and the quality of apprenticeships protected, recognising that skills are a key driver of productive performance and economic prosperity.
TUESDAY, 31 JANUARY 2017