Sep 27, 2004

13,600 Apprenticeships to address skill


Joint Media Release:
Jenny Macklin MP – Deputy Federal Labor Leader; Shadow Minister for Employment, Education and Training, and
Anthony Albanese MP – Shadow Minister for Employment Services & Training
27 September 2004

A Federal Labor Government will provide $186 million to create 8,000 apprenticeships for small and medium enterprises and 5,600 Skill Up Apprenticeships in regions of skill shortage or high unemployment.

A Latham Labor Government will give more Australians the skills they need for a decent job and deliver vital support to regional and small and medium enterprises.

Australia has severe skill shortages in key trades and industries, yet the Howard Government turns away tens of thousands Australians from TAFE every year.

Skills growth as a driver of productivity has dropped 75 per cent in the last ten years.

Under a Latham Labor Government, businesses will get the support they need to address local skill shortages through two new apprenticeship initiatives.

More Group Training support for 8,000 small and medium enterprise (SME) apprenticeships

A Federal Labor Government will provide $60.5 million for Group Training Organisations to support more small and medium sized enterprises (SME) with their workforce needs and target areas of skill shortage in traditional trades.

This will create up to 8,000 SME Apprentices by January 2008.

Group Training is one of the most effective means for small and medium sized businesses to take on apprentices and provide them with quality training.

Labor will make it easier for more small and medium sized businesses to meet their labour force needs by increasing support to Group Training Organisations.

This initiative builds on Labor’s commitment to support small business by reducing BAS paperwork and strengthening the Trades Practices Act.

5,600 Skill Up Apprenticeships in unemployment and skill shortage hotspots

A Federal Labor Government will provide $125.5 million to create up to 5,600 Skill Up Apprenticeships in 30 regions of high unemployment or skill shortage by January 2008. This will increase to up to 6,600 Skill Up Apprenticeships by January 2009.

The Skill Up scheme will target vulnerable young people and mature age Australians at risk of long term unemployment.

Skill Up will provide up to $10,000 per year in wage and training subsidies to small and micro businesses unable to find skilled workers. This will be delivered through Group Training Organisations.

The scheme will be implemented in key areas of high unemployment, youth unemployment or skill shortage and will train disadvantaged job seekers in the skills and trades most needed by local businesses.

The scheme is based on a model proposed by Australian Business Limited and the Illawarra Apprenticeship Campaign.

These initiatives build on Labor’s commitment to create 20,000 new TAFE places and 20,000 new university places every year by 2008-09 including new nursing, teacher education and medical places and to reduce HECS fees for science and maths students by at least $1,600 per annum.

These initiatives also complement Labor’s $692.7 Youth Guarantee: Learn or Earn to give every 15 to 18 year old the backing they need to be studying at school, TAFE, university or be in a job or apprenticeship.

Labor’s skills commitments are a fully costed and funded investment to boost skill levels and address skill shortages.

$ million






5,600 Skill Up Apprenticeships






8,000 SME Apprenticeships













Mark Latham believes skills are a passport to opportunity in life. Labor will give more Australians backing to get skills for better jobs and stronger economic growth.