ACCI President David Michaelis Speech – Apprenticeship Launch December 2009 Minister Mark Arbib, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am here today as President of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Australia's peak business organisation, which is comprised of the 35 leading employer organisations in the country covering all geographic locations and all major industry sectors. In particular I welcome you all to the New South Wales Business Chamber, one of these 35 ACCI organisations, for the launch of some important research work undertaken in the area of disengaged apprenticeships. ACCI is deeply committed to improving the skills base of the Australian economy, and through employment, education and training, providing solutions to social disadvantage and giving hope and opportunity to young people. Our members work closely and cooperatively with industry, training providers, governments and the trade union movement at a national and local level on these common purposes. As we come to the end of a year when we have been buffeted by a global recession, our employment performance is holding up well - especially by world standards. Yet, at the end of this year, we also reflect on the fact that we need to re-invest in our human resources and skills base not just for today, but for tomorrow. The ACCI work on apprenticeships being launched today has been made possible through the financial support of the Australian Government through the Industry Strategies Program operated by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. Under this program a network of Education and Training Advisers, or ETAs, has been established across Australia. The aim of the ETA initiative is to establish and maintain support mechanisms to increase the knowledge and understanding by business and enterprise of vocational and technical education issues. Through this initiative we develop a greater breadth of understanding of the vocational education and training system. We aim to increase the uptake of Australian Apprentices and enable a wider utilisation of nationally accredited training through Training Packages. ACCI President David Michaelis Speech – Apprenticeship Launch December 2009 Today's report, Worth Their Weight in Gold, is the second in a three part series of research pieces undertaken by ACCI as an ETA special project. The first in this series, A Systematic Approach to Retaining Apprentices, was completed in 2008 and is available on the ACCI website. Promoting the cause of employment of apprentices, and retaining apprentices in employment throughout their vocational learning, is what we are advocating today. Placing real apprentices in real jobs is not easy in an economy where businesses succeed and fail. On behalf of ACCI, I salute the training providers and the employers which are employing apprentices in Australia, and giving opportunity to them and their families. Our previous work on the retention of apprentices focussed on what employers can do for the almost 50% of them who do not complete their apprenticeship. Today's work focuses on employers and the role they play in attracting and employing disengaged apprentices. To complement the series, there will be a third piece of work, currently underway, which focuses on mature aged apprentices. The research we are releasing today shows that employers can and do make a difference to an apprenticeship being completed, and often it is small things that make that difference. In particular, a focussed effort on effective recruitment can help an employer determine if the apprentice has the right attitude towards the apprenticeship and whether or not they will be suited to the industry. The research is also of high value because of the very detailed set of practical strategies it identifies for employers to follow for each of the critical dimensions of an apprenticeship. I am delighted that today we are joined by Senator the Hon Mark Arbib, Minister for Workplace Participation. I know from the reports that our executives provide the ACCI Board, that Minister Arbib shares a passion with employers to ensure all that can be done is being done to increase the uptake and retention of apprentices. Before handing over to the Minister I would like to make special mention of the Government’s Kickstart program in which the Minister has played a large personal role. The Kickstart program provides additional incentives to employers to take on young apprentices aged 15 – 19 over this summer period. Employers can receive $2350 when they employ a 15 to 19 year old apprentice in an eligible trade and then receive a further $2500 after they complete nine months. Just as ACCI worked with the government during the year on a very successful program to provide industry with financial incentives to purchase new plant and equipment (the Investment Allowance), the Kickstart program sees industry and the government giving employers an incentive to invest in our most precious resource, our human capital. ACCI President David Michaelis Speech – Apprenticeship Launch December 2009 As we take time out during the Christmas season I encourage employers to think about the number of young people receiving their final school grades, and what a job opportunity could mean for each one of them. My message to business owners in the traditional trades is to take a moment out over the next few weeks, and resolve to take on an apprentice if you possibly can. If you do it soon, over the summer, you will be able to take advantage of this additional support from the Government. Congratulations Minister on such an innovative approach to ensuring young people can enter more easily into the labour market. I’ll now hand over to you to officially launch Worth Their Weight in Gold. ACCI President David Michaelis Speech – Apprenticeship Launch December 2009
"David Michaelis speech Apprenticeship launch"