The Member for Melton, Don Nardella MLA, welcomed the Andrews Labor Government announcement that will see TAFEs across the state benefit from $3.5 million to continue support and guidance to apprentices aged 15 to 24 during the first year of their apprenticeship, after the program was cut by the previous Liberal Government.
Mr Nardella said the Labor Government will fund the Apprenticeship Support Officer program for another 12 months at TAFEs, delivered through the TAFE network.
The Apprenticeship Support Officer program helps about 10,000 apprentices each year, and funding was due to end on June 30, after it was cut by the previous Liberal Government.
The program has proven successful in keeping local apprentices engaged in their training, with almost 400 apprentices across the state still in their apprenticeship who would otherwise have dropped out.
TAFEs that will benefit include:
- Bendigo Kangan Institute (Bendigo)
- Bendigo Kangan Institute (Essendon)
- Box Hill TAFE (Box Hill)
- Chisholm Institute (Frankston)
- The Gordon Institute (Geelong)
- SuniTAFE (Mildura)
- Federation Training (Warragul)
- South West TAFE (Warrnambool)
- Wodonga TAFE (Wodonga)
The Gordon also services the Ballarat area and Wodonga TAFE services the Shepparton area.
Acting Minister for Training and Skills Jenny Mikakos said it is even more important the program continued given that the Commonwealth has cut $10 million out of apprenticeship support through its new Australian Apprenticeship Support Network, as part of its $2 billion cuts to skills and training and apprenticeships.
Ms Mikakos said the Labor Government will keep the Commonwealth on notice regarding support for young apprentices in their first year to ensure no one falls through the gaps at a time of high youth unemployment.
The Labor Government is committed to supporting apprentices as part of its Back to Work Plan to create 100,000 jobs.
Ms Mikakos said helping young people get an apprenticeship and stick with it would assist in tackling the high youth unemployment rate.