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    Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
    The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

    More progress for apprentices and trainees

    Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
    The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

    Tuesday, July 31, 2018

    More progress for apprentices and trainees

    The Palaszczuk Government is moving to further strengthen the state’s vocational education and training (VET) system and boost the number and quality of apprenticeships and traineeships.

    Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman said a 12-month progress update of the Jobs Queensland Positive Futures: Apprenticeships and Traineeships in Queensland report was published today.

    “Using the expert advice provided by Jobs Queensland, the Palaszczuk Government is getting on with the job of bridging skills gaps and providing real pathways to jobs,” Ms Fentiman said.

    “Key to that response is our recently launched $1 million Advancing Apprentices Fund to increase the number of businesses taking on apprentices.

    “There has also been a series of Advancing Apprenticeship roundtables across Queensland to get feedback from employers, industry groups and unions about the issues faced in recruiting and retaining apprentices. 

    “This valuable feedback will further inform strategies moving into the future.”

    The latest NCVER quarterly report showed Queensland’s apprenticeship and traineeship commencements increased by 8.5 per cent in the 12 months to December 2017, compared with the preceding 12-month period.

    Ms Fentiman said that across Australia for the same period, apprenticeship and traineeship commencements fell by 1.7 per cent.

    “This shows that Queensland’s strong economy has businesses planning for the future and developing more skilled workers,” she said.

    “This lift in apprenticeship and traineeship commencements is also being driven by the many initiatives championed by the Palaszczuk Government’s support for vocational education and training.”

    These initiatives include:

    • $202 million in User Choice funding for apprentices and trainees that will support more than 60,000 Queenslanders into apprenticeships and traineeships in 2018-19.
    • Fee-free training for eligible Year 12 graduates to complete training in priority courses — from engineering and automotive, to horticulture, hospitality and community services.
    • The $369 million Back to Work package that has already supported more than 3,000 apprentices and trainees.
    • A new $20,000 youth boost incentive payment that will be available for employers putting on a trainee or apprentice who participated in a Skilling Queenslanders for Work project.
    • Doubling the payroll tax rebate for apprentices and trainees to make it more affordable for employers to hire an apprentice or trainee and continuing this rebate in 2018-19.
    • Reducing the cost of doing business through the WorkCover Queensland’s premium and benefits package to further encourage employers to hire apprentices.
    • And ensuring the Queensland Building and Construction Training Policy that 15 per cent of the total labour hours on major government building and construction projects were undertaken by apprentices and trainees was adhered to.

    Ms Fentiman said that while the Palaszczuk Government was focused on providing opportunities for all Queenslanders, the nation’s prime minister Malcom Turnbull was walking away from a genuine funding partnership on training and placing up to 7,000 training places at risk in Queensland.

    “It is alarming that they would rip out up to $70 million in funding from training under the National Partnership Agreement on Skills and provide no certainty for growth in funding or training places,” she said.

    For further information on apprenticeships and traineeships visit www.training.qld.gov.au/apprentices or call Apprenticeships Info on 1800 210 210.

    https://training.qld.gov.au/employers/engage-government/jobs-qld

    For information on Jobs Queensland reports visit

    https://training.qld.gov.au/employers/engage-government/jobs-qld

    [ENDS]

    Media contact: Bernadette Condren 0417 296 116