In a bid to reduce spending the Federal Government is considering further cuts to apprenticeship incentives. The recent budget statement indicated that there would be reduction in spending on apprenticeships of $24 million this financial year, and a further $200 million over the next three years.
"At this point in time business needs all the help it can get. Reducing Government spending by cutting funding to apprenticeship schemes is not helping anyone - and is certainly not helping boost the economy," says James Tinslay, NECA CEO.
This proposed change, which could come into effect immediately, if supported, will end standard completion incentives payments for certain employers engaging apprentices, or trainees, in non-priority occupations. The completion incentives payment
was previously $3,000 for full-time, and $1,500 for part-time, workers.
Grandfathering arrangements will apparently be kept in place for all employers where the apprenticeship has already commenced.
The cut-off date would be 2nd August 2013.
"We will continue to urge the Government not to implement this change in policy. We believe that the apprenticeship model is the backbone of Australian industry. By cutting back on funding, less apprenticeships will be offered, and that in turn will lead to a shortage of skilled workers in the future," added Tinslay.
NECA is one of the largest employers of apprentices in Australia. The association employs, and provides training to, more than 2,000 apprentices via their state-based group training schemes. By committing to this program NECA helps provide the electrical and communications industry with the number of highly-skilled electricians the industry needs.
The on-going reduction in apprentice training subsidies could well result in less young people having these opportunities to learn a trade, and could also have an adverse effect on the levels of employment across Australia.
NECA is the peak industry body representing the interests of electrical and communications contractors Australia-wide. For further information
go to www.neca.asn.au