A better skilled workforce

Wednesday, 25 July, 2007

Group Training Australia (GTA) recently released its 'a better skilled workforce' policy statement. GTA represents the group training network which employs over 40,000 apprentices and trainees, making it Australia's largest single employer of apprentices and trainees. Nationally, one in five traditional apprentices is employed through group training arrangements.

While the government and opposition both have trade training and skills development on their budget radar, GTA believes that in the lead-up to the federal election, both sides must continue to keep the focus firmly on skills and training. The GTA policy statement therefore focuses on five key areas of the vocational education and training system requiring action:

  1. School to work transition
  2. Youth labour market
  3. Retraining and returning to the workforce
  4. Training infrastructure and systemic support
  5. Skilled migration

GTA CEO, Jim Barron said: "A better skilled workforce identifies some 30 key VET issues deserving of further exploration and places particular emphasis on a substantial expansion of pre-apprenticeship programs, the need to subsidise adult minimum rates of pay for all apprentices over 21 years, the retention of welfare benefits for income support recipients willing to retrain in a traditional trade and urgent action to deal with the ageing of the technical education teaching workforce".

GTA's better skilled workforce policy statement is available from www.grouptraining.com.au

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