Real Skills And Good Jobs For Jobseekers Through Apprenticeships


Labor won’t let Australians fall behind because there is a gap between the skills they have and the ones employers are looking for.

We will help more young people into apprenticeships by creating 10,000 new Apprentice Ready places and see retrenched workers gain formal recognition of their skills through accelerated apprenticeships so they can find their next job.

We are backing apprenticeships because we believe every Australian should have the chance to gain real skills and a good job. Building a highly skilled workforce for the future is also just as critical to nation building as our investments in infrastructure like Perth’s METRONET.      

The Apprentice Ready program will offer a 20-week, industry endorsed pre-apprenticeship course for trades on the National Skills Needs List. Delivered through local TAFEs, Apprentice Ready will be targeted to young Australians who have been unemployed for six months or more.

Apprentice Ready will give these young people the skills they need to be job-ready and provide a ‘taster’ of several high quality trades to help them choose an apprenticeship that suits their interests.

Labor will then provide an additional incentive payment of $1,000 to employers who hire Apprentice Ready apprentices.

We will also pilot a National Skills Recognition Entitlement program with 5,000 places to help mature-aged, retrenched workers turn their extensive work experience into formal qualifications.

Based on the successful National Apprentice Program, the pilot will help map the skills workers have to emerging occupations and relevant apprenticeship or technical traineeship qualifications.

Many mature aged workers have a wealth of knowledge and experience, but no formal recognition of the skills they have developed through decades of work.

This innovative mature aged apprenticeship model aims to have the majority of adult apprentices complete their apprenticeship within 18 months, allowing them to re-establish their careers in industries with skills shortages. This not only gets them back to work sooner, but ensures they have the skills to stay working in a good job.

Together, the creation of these 15,000 places represents a $62.5 million investment in jobs and training for Australians who are struggling to get into work.

This comes on top of our commitment to get more apprentices onto Commonwealth-funded projects by setting aside a proportion of the jobs for apprenticeships.

We will start with a target of seeing one in 10 jobs on Labor’s priority infrastructure projects filled by Australian apprentices. This will create 2,600 new apprenticeship places for young workers seeking a good job and real skills.  

Labor will also conduct a full, evidence-based review of the vocational education and training system to build a stronger sector. We will also rid the VET sector of dodgy operators and deliver a funding guarantee to ensure TAFE remains strong and viable into the future as our central public provider.

In contrast, the only plan the Liberals have for vocational education and apprentices is cuts. They have now cut funding for skills and training in every budget and economic update since the last election.

On their watch, apprentice commencements have plummeted by almost 20 per cent between September 2014 and September 2015 alone. The number of apprentices in training is now at its lowest level since 2001.

Our plans will stop the rapid fall in Australians taking up a trade.

Only Labor will help more people gain real skills and get good jobs, while ensuring Australia’s future workforce is a high skilled, well trained and innovative one.

For more information on Labor’s positive plan for apprenticeships, visit: