New trades pathways pilot responds to industry needs

14 May 2013

The Gillard Government is investing more than $68 million in an industry-led pilot program to trial new training pathways into high-demand trade and technical occupations as part of this year’s Budget.

Over four years from 2013-14, the Alternative Pathways pilot will target priority skills areas through new training models that are led by industry.

This will better meet the skills needs of industry, and provides more flexibility than traditional three to four-year training periods.

Minister for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation Greg Combet, Minister for Tertiary Education Craig Emerson and Minister for Higher Education and Skills Sharon Bird said jobs in the modern Australian economy are changing rapidly, and this alternative training model will help keep pace with skills needs.

“This targeted investment in training and skills will better support the needs of industry and ensure we are in the best position to meet the workforce demands of the future,” Minister Combet said.

The program gives employers a more flexible and efficient way to access skilled workers, with training tailored to suit employers' individual needs, circumstances and business model.

"Traditional apprenticeships have served the nation well and will continue to be a valuable way to obtain skills," Minister Emerson said.

"However, this program looks at alternative ways to deliver training so we can increase the number of ‘job ready’ Australians in areas of high demand,” he said.

The pilot program may be expanded to have national coverage and include a range of industries and trade occupations.

“This program will help us meet the skills needs of the future more effectively and efficiently,” Minister Bird said.

The National Panel for Economic Reform and the Apprenticeships for the 21st Century Expert Panel have expressed support for alternative training pathways to trade occupations that will better meet the needs of Australian industry.