The launch of the Australian Apprenticeship and Support Network (AASN) will help improve apprenticeship and traineeship completion rates across the country.
Assistant Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham revealed that the initiative will result in $200 million of investment every year. The money will go towards boosting the number of apprentices and trainees that are recruited, trained and retained nationwide.
Eleven organisations, including BUSY At Work, were announced as service providers for the AASN on Monday (April 27). The network covers 440 locations across Australia and will begin operating on July 1 this year.
Mr Birmingham said a primary objective of the AASN is to increase completion rates among apprentices and trainees after they had slumped to as low as 50 per cent in recent years.
“Employers, particularly small business owners, will receive more efficient help in navigating the apprenticeships system, while individuals will be better assisted to complete their training.”
The government is implementing an outcomes-based format, which will offer financial incentives for apprenticeship and traineeship completions. There will also be targeted mentoring services available to candidates and employers who are having difficulties.
Furthermore, there will be a greater focus on online services in an attempt to remove the paperwork burden and free up resources for more important direct-support tasks.
Benefits for apprenticeships and traineeships
Mr Birmingham said boosting completion rates ensures that everyone involved in an apprenticeship or traineeship arrangement will benefit.
“New targeted pre-commencement services will ensure prospective apprentices and employers have the requisite skills, aptitude and information before signing up,” he stated.
“These services will help to reduce non-completion by ensuring that we have the right apprentices, undertaking the right apprenticeships with the right employers.”
BUSY At Work will deliver AASN services in Queensland and Western Australia. The company is partnered with Skill360 in the former and Job Futures in the latter.
According to Mr Birmingham, the successful providers have proven track records across the employment and training markets. BUSY is the longest-serving Australian Apprenticeships Centre in Queensland, having operated in the state since 1998.
“Improving completion rates by helping those who need it most to stay on track means more Australians will get to realise the full benefits of an apprenticeship, and the rewarding careers that can come as a result,” Mr Birmingham concluded.
The AASN will be delivered through 280 network provider sites in the country, as well as an additional 160 remote and regional locations via outreach servicing agreements.
By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator