Senator the Honourable Chris Evans Minister for Tertiary Education Skills, Jobs & Workplace Relations and representatives from the National Association of Australian Apprenticeship Centres met with 14 Australian Apprentices to review the program. Queensland was well represented with five apprentices attending from metropolitan and regional areas.
A series of workshops were held and the official report summarising these discussions has now been released. Topics discussed included the challenges faced by apprentices and the support they receive. Also covered were the benefits of an Australian Apprenticeship to workers and employers, and opportunities to raise the profile of Apprenticeships and Traineeships with employers and the community.
It was found that mentor or peer support during an apprenticeship can assist individuals with both work and personal challenges. It was suggested that mentors could help with managing conflicts, career development and providing advice on accessing information they needed.
Attendees also agreed there are many positive aspects of doing an apprenticeship such as building life skills, long term employability and gaining nationally recognised qualifications. One of the major limitations identified was the national variation surrounding what constitutes an apprenticeship or traineeship.
Michael Pope from Queensland Alumina Limited attended the workshops.
“It was highly beneficial to hear about the issues experienced by other apprentices and interesting to find that some of the core problems faced like accessing affordable accommodation are the same for workers in both the regional and city areas,” he said