PIAA: Apprentice numbers collapsing

PIAA: Apprentice numbers collapsing
PIAA CEO Andrew Macaulay says Australia needs national campaign promoting apprenticeships to young people

The number of apprenticeships in Australia is collapsing, down from 500,000 to 275,000 in the last five years, with PIAA CEO Andrew Macaulay saying a new national system is the only way to rectify the situation.

Macaulay says, “These are lost jobs and lost opportunities for young people and our industries. We urgently need a national system.

“Currently, apprenticeship skills, qualifications and timeframes vary from state to state and territory to territory and businesses have to deal with eight different jurisdictions. This is costly, time consuming and frustrating. To regain our international competitiveness as a nation and secure the jobs of today and tomorrow for our people, we need to act in a nationally coordinated way.”

[Related: PIAA receiving Canberra support]

The alarming apprenticeship figures came as the Australian Productivity Commission published the first ever five-year productivity review,  highlighting economic influences including the current vocational training in disarray, which PIAA CEO Andrew Macaulay says aligns to what it observes in the printing, packaging and allied sectors.

This productivity review assesses the factors and influences that could affect Australia’s economic performance over the medium term, in order to advise where priorities should lie if we are to enhance national welfare.

 Macaulay says, “We need a national campaign to promote apprenticeships to young people as an exciting path into a job and career. The Printing Industries Association of Australia welcomes the Commission’s call for a ‘new policy model’. There are many areas that are not working. These must be addressed urgently before Australia is left behind.”

[Related: PIAA calls for apprentice support]

He says, “The five-year productivity review issued by the Productivity Commission to government this week is a real wake-up call for Australia This fundamental document will govern the political priorities and policies for the next two to five years, and I am thrilled that education has been highlighted as a key driver of prosperity and benefit to all Australians.

The Productivity Commission is the Australian Government’s independent research and advisory body on a range of economic, social and environmental issues affecting the welfare of Australians. Its role is to help governments make better policies, in the long term interest of the Australian community.

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