Friday, September 28th, 2012
The peak Australian electrical industry body the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) has welcomed a major Government initiative to boost industry apprentice completion rates throughout Australia.

The association - which is involved in the training of over 2000 electrical and communications apprentices through its group training companies across Australia - hosted today’s (Friday) launch of the initiative by Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research Minister Chris Evans at its NECA Apprenticeships Victoria facility in Melbourne.

NECA Chief Executive Officer James Tinslay said the initiative was needed because completion rates across the country were highly variable.

“Apprentice completion rates in the electrical trade are highly variable across Australia with NECA’s Group Training Schemes having completion rates of over 90 per cent in comparison to the overall industry average which sits just above 60 per cent,” said Mr Tinslay.

“NECA knows that these completion rates can be improved as it has the knowledge and track record of delivering outstanding completion rates. The key to increasing completion rates is the selection process and then mentoring the apprentice throughout the term of their apprenticeship to ensure they’re satisfactorily progressing through both on and off the job competencies.”

Minister Evans launched the Australian Government’s competency based reforms of the apprenticeship system at NECA’s Brunswick apprenticeship campus. The initiative is about flexible delivery, allowing individuals to complete their apprenticeship and being competent and this could mean before or after the traditional four year duration.

Mr Tinslay said that the program is not about watering down the requirements but rather strengthening the electrical apprenticeship training program.

“NECA acknowledges that many in the industry feel that four years is the minimum that an apprenticeship should be served but this pilot would accommodate those apprentices that are able to demonstrate competencies prior to the traditional four year completion rate and also those who would benefit from additional time served,” he said.

“This program allows flexibility both ways with the focus being on safety and quality of skills application.”

NECA, in conjunction with EE-Oz Training Standards, will employ over 20 mentor/advisors across the country to talk to and advise employers, potential apprentices and their parents to assist in ensuring that completion rates can be increased.


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Peter Scott - Media and Communications Manager

P: 02 9439 8523
M: 0457 767 328


NECA, National Electrical and Communications Association, apprentice, training



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