TURNBULL GOVERNMENT SAYS REAL APPRENTICESHIPS ARE THE BEST BUT FUNDING FLOWS TO THE FAKES

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15 Nov 2016

Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Training Karen Andrews likes to promote apprenticeships as an alternative to degrees. She has even made a video with TV host Scott Cam, to encourage young people to take up apprenticeships. Scott Cam’s assessment of the value of apprenticeships is spot on.

Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Training Karen Andrews likes to promote apprenticeships as an alternative to degrees. She has even made a video with TV host Scott Cam, to encourage young people to take up apprenticeships. Scott Cam’s assessment of the value of apprenticeships is spot on.

“My apprenticeship was one of the best things I ever did. It gave me time to learn on-the-job, and there’s no better way of learning than just getting stuck into it.”

So why is the Turnbull Government funding an ‘apprenticeship’ trial that does away with on-the-job training?

After cutting $1 billion out of apprenticeships support, the Turnbull Government’s only new commitment to apprenticeships has been to hand out five $1.8 million grants for ‘new apprenticeship model trials’. One of these is to former Senator Bob Day’s North East Vocational College.

The North East Vocational College trial will deliver classroom-based training in building and construction to 20 young people at a cost to taxpayers of $92,000 per student.

Yet, even at this enormous cost, and contrary to program guidelines, it will not even train apprentices. The participants will not have a training or employment contract. They will receive no meaningful on-the-job training and any ‘work experience’ they do will be unpaid. Once completed, they will not be eligible for a trade certificate to become a recognised tradesperson, putting them at a distinct disadvantage compared with a true trade apprentice.

The hypocrisy of the government is astounding. They say that on-the-job apprenticeship training is ‘the best’ but fund programs that would end on-the-job training.

TUESDAY, 15 NOVEMBER 2016