From education to employment

23% increase for school-based programmes

Australia has seen an increase in the participation of the nationally recognised Apprenticeship programme, with more than 403,600 Australian Apprentices taking part in the scheme during the 2006 March Quarter.

The figures released by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) show that in the 12 months to March 31, 2006 the number of people commencing an Apprenticeship grew to 271,100, an increase of 5%.

The report also showed that Australian Apprenticeship completion rate grew to 142,600, an increase of 6%, and in the last 12 months the number of Australian School-based Apprenticeships grew by a staggering 23%.

Australian Apprenticeships offer employees and school students the opportunity to obtain nationally recognised qualifications with structured training that can be on-the-job, off-the-job or a combination of both.

Apprenticeships are available to anyone of working age and do not require any entry qualifications. They offer a variety of certificate levels in more than 500 occupations, in traditional trades, as well in a diverse range of careers within most sectors of business and industry.

Goolarri Media Enterprises operates a local radio and television station dedicated to indigenous culture, news and events in Broome, Western Australia. They are currently taking part in the scheme and have 14 new apprentices registered.

Michelle Parsons is currently completing a Certificate IV in Business Administration with Goolarri Media.

“The idea of studying alone can be daunting,” explained Michelle. “However, with my New Apprenticeship at Goolarri, I always have support and I can relate and incorporate my study into what I am doing on the job.”

Training Manager at Goolarri, Carol-Anne Olivero, says that the New Apprentices participate in real tasks that contribute to the day-to-day requirements of the organisation.

“We have found that the Goolarri model engages the New Apprentices and encourages full participation, allowing for creativity and motivating the employees to complete the training they have undertaken,” she explained.

The Australian Minister for Vocational and Technical Education, the Hon Gary Hardgrave MP said the figures released by the NCVER were proof that the Governments initiatives were encouraging people to seize training opportunities.

“These increases are tangible evidence of the effectiveness of the Australian Government initiatives,” he said. “We want to ensure all Australians know the value of a vocational qualification and I am particularly encouraged to see that young women are hearing the message about opportunities available through Australian Apprenticeships.”

“All Australians can access the opportunities the Australian Government is providing to help them obtain marketable skills to contribute to our vibrant economy,” Mr Hardgrave said.

Irene Watt.

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