Apprenticeships boost to provide new opportunities for young people in Hinkler

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Major industry and employer groups around Bundaberg are supporting a Coalition Government plan to boost local apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities as crucial to region’s future economic growth.

The real skills for real careers forum involving over 30 representatives from local industry, employers, schools and employment organisations was hosted by Member for Hinkler, Keith Pitt, and Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Karen Andrews, who outlined the Coalition Government’s plans to increase local apprenticeship opportunities.

Assistant Minster Andrews told the forum that recent Government announcements show the Coalition’s commitment to the vocational education and training sector.

“We’ve just launched the $60 million specialist mentoring program to increase apprenticeship completion rates, which followed the real skills for real careers initiative to raise the status of VET and highlight the many opportunities it provides.

“The Government is also implementing the $1.5 billion Skilling Australians Fund that will create an extra 300,000 apprenticeships and traineeships across Australia with a focus on industries that are important to cities like Bundaberg including manufacturing, agriculture and tourism,” Assistant Minister Andrews said.

Mr Pitt said the Coalition’s plans will deliver real benefits to the region.

“Tackling the issue of youth unemployment is a priority and the boost to local apprenticeships and traineeships will provide new job and career opportunities for local young people and support the future growth of Bundaberg industries and business.

“It was great to see local industries support our plans, and it’s important they have a major say in projects developed through the Skilling Australians Fund to create new apprenticeships for people around Bundaberg,” Mr Pitt said.

CEO of Bundaberg Sugar, Guy Basile, said the company is keen to engage more apprentices to ensure it has the skilled workforce it needs into the future.

“Bundaberg Sugar recognises the role an organisation such as ours can play in training apprentices and ensuring the future of tradespeople and knowledge within our organisation. 

“The next generation needs to be provided with training opportunities to ensure the future of regional businesses and regional economies by avoiding a skills shortage in years to come.” Mr Basile said.

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