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Training market ‘hasn’t boosted trades’

The Australian | 14 March 2014

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Victoria’s open training market has done little to boost numbers of qualified tradespeople. …………………………………………………………………………………………………

TradesIn a report to the Victorian parliament, Auditor-General John Doyle said there had been “no real improvement” in the proportion of apprentices and trainees emerging from government-funded training courses.

Doyle said apprenticeships and traineeships had “stalled” even though spending on them had increased by more than one-third over the past 10 years. The report finds that there are no more people starting apprenticeships and traineeships now than there were in 2004 and as in 2004, a third of people who pursue apprenticeships and traineeships do not complete them.

While the number of completed apprentice and trainee qualifications had increased steadily since the open training market, known as the Victorian Training Guarantee, was introduced in 2009, according to the report

This suggests there are more people pursuing multiple qualifications, rather than more people entering the system. Developing skills in this way may benefit individuals (but) is not likely to contribute significantly towards increasing the supply of skilled workers for Victoria’s vital industries.

The report offers 10 recommendations including improved data management, better support mechanisms for apprentices and trainees and a more robust employer approval process.

The report has emerged almost two years after the government increased funding for apprenticeship courses but slashed support for many other types of training, in a move thought to have to cost the state’s TAFEs some $300 million a year.

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