Minister for Training and Skills media release - 2 May 2017.
The Andrews Labor Government is creating opportunities for thousands of apprentices and making sure up to 17 500 first-year apprentices have the support they need every year to learn their trade and get a good job.
The Victorian Budget 2017/18 provides an $8.2 million boost for Apprentice Support Officers to make sure apprentices under the age of 25 get the support they need to finish their training and get the jobs they want.
This is on top of the Government’s record investment in TAFE in the last two Budgets, after the former Liberal Government gutted Victoria’s training sector.
Twenty-five support officers will be based at TAFEs across Victoria so they can continue mentoring and helping young apprentices with family, work and training issues that could affect their apprenticeship.
With the Labor Government's Major Projects Skills Guarantee – which ensures apprentices and trainees do at least 10 per cent of the work on Victoria’s major projects – creating thousands of opportunities for apprentices, this support is needed now more than ever before to finish their apprenticeship and gain a trade.
This program has helped hundreds of new apprentices, and has boosted our retention rate three per cent for apprentices at risk of dropping out.
Despite these excellent results, the Federal Government has cut funding for the program, meaning the Victorian Government has had to step in.
The support officers will help apprentices access literacy and numeracy support, drug and alcohol counselling or mental health practitioners if needed, to keep them on track and safe through their trades training.
They also provide assistance with government support services, the Fair Work Ombudsman and WorkSafe so apprentices can get on and focus on their training without the added stresses.
The Budget provides ongoing funding for the Labor Government’s landmark TAFE Rescue Fund and the Stronger TAFE Fund, which are helping TAFE institutes train and reskill workers across Victoria.
Quotes attributable to Minister of Training and Skills Gayle Tierney
“We’re rescuing TAFE, creating hundreds of apprenticeships, and now we’ll provide extra support to help young people learn their trade.”
“Our apprentices are the backbone of our training system and the future of our workforce so it’s vital we give them all the support we can.”
“Our continued investment in training and TAFE is helping build a skilled workforce for the future and stands in stark contrast to the cuts being made by the Turnbull Government.”