David Michaelis speech Apprenticeship launch

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					                    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

				
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