Queensland’s ‘Refusal to Play Ball’ with Commonwealth on Training is Apprentices’ Loss: CCIQ

Thursday 3 January, 2019 | By: Dan Petrie

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) says businesses across the State will be bitterly disappointed as crucial training initiatives begin rolling out in other States and Territories under the National Partnership Agreement (NPSAF) – which the Palaszczuk Government’s refused to sign onto September last year.

CCIQ Senior Policy Advisor, Catherine Liddell said the impasse will have its greatest impact on existing and potential apprentices trainees, with the effect clearly in the negative.

“Funding has been denied to Queensland for the second consecutive year now as a result of the Palaszczuk Government not wanting to play ball,” said Mrs Liddell.

“Queensland’s decision to play politics with our apprenticeships system places us at a significant disadvantage next to States and Territories who have signed on and are now creating further opportunities for aspiring apprentices.”

Six States and Territories that are a party to the NPSAF (Queensland and Victoria excluded) have entered into bilateral schedules outlining projects certain to boost apprentice and trainee numbers over the near to medium term.

Mrs Liddell says businesses across the State will be disheartened upon learning of the opportunities other States and Territories are being afforded as a result of collaboration between the states and their federal counterparts.

“Businesses and indeed people in general are so sick of politics when it comes to matters affecting their livelihood.

“Time and time again businesses are telling us that finding people with the right skills is becoming increasingly difficult. The State Government really needs to do all it can to boost apprenticeship numbers, not hinder it.

“We recognise the State Government are doing a good job in boosting numbers on their own, but it seems illogical not to complement efforts with federal funding made available to them,” Mrs Liddell.

Initiatives funded under NPSAF in 2018-19 include:

New South Wales

  • Matched funding to waive training fees for all apprenticeships
  • Capping the training fee for traineeships
  • Expanding opportunities pre-apprenticeship
  • Innovative higher apprenticeship pilots

South Australia

  • Widespread promotional activity to ensure apprenticeships are seen as a first-choice career option
  • Delivering four signature projects designed to demonstrate the value of apprenticeships
  • Establishing a provider development program to support improved outcomes through VET

Australian Capital Territory

  • Match funding needed to increase subsidies for apprentice opportunities
  • Expanding pre-apprenticeship programs
  • Support innovative approached to traineeships

Northern Territory

  • Establishing new industry grants program

Western Australia

  • New employer incentive program
  • Expansion of existing pre-apprenticeship program

Tasmania

  • New industry grants program
  • Expansion of pre-apprenticeship programs
  • Continuation of employer incentives for new apprenticeships.

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