Kickstart delivers 21,000 apprenticeships

There are 21,000 more Australians undertaking an apprenticeship today because of Labor’s successful Apprentice Kickstart initiative.

Apprentices.jpgThe program tripled the incentives to take on a new apprentice and is now making sure that the skilled workers the economy needs tomorrow are in training today.

Minister for Higher Education and Skills Sharon Bird today announced the $57.5 million program had delivered – as planned – thousands of construction and engineering apprenticeships.

“Apprentices are essential to strengthening Australia’s skill base. I am pleased to announce that Kickstart has achieved its goal of signing up 21,000 apprentices who are now learning a trade,” Minister Bird said.

The strongest demand came from people seeking to become electricians, carpenters, plumbers, engineering fabricators or auto-mechanics.

Minister Bird said skills development in construction and engineering was a national priority, with demand forecast to increase.

“This program has given thousands of Australians a great start in life and put them on the road to a high-skilled, high-wage job by offering targeted apprenticeships,” Minister Bird said.

“It is a great example of how Labor is helping employers train skilled workers and building a national workforce for the future.”

Close to 7,000 of the new apprentices are located in New South Wales and about 6,000 in Victoria, with thousands more in Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the ACT.

The Apprentice Kickstart Initiative ran from 1 December 2012 to 30 April 2013. It built on the success of the Kickstart Bonus and the Kickstart Extension, where $120 million was invested to support more than 50,000 apprenticeships and traineeships during the recovery from the Global Financial Crisis.

The Government has reaffirmed its commitment to apprentices through the 2012-13 Budget measure Alternative Pathways to the Trades.