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    Apprenticeships get boost from government

    Published on 11 September 2014, Thursday, 12:31 AM

    The government has recently announced two new measures that will benefit those looking for work in construction - as well as the wider industry itself. 

    The commonwealth government will invest around $200 million each year to create an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network, which stands to benefit both employers and job-seekers - the former by providing them with a pathway into employment, the latter by helping them find skilled, productive employees. 

    As part of the program, apprentices will be paired with an employer, from whom they will receive mentoring and learn the finer points of using excavators and other construction equipment. They will also be able to receive career advice. 

    Employers will also benefit handsomely. 

    "The new network will provide a one-stop-shop for employers, particularly small business, looking to hire a new apprentice suited to their business," Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in a September 8 release. 

    Industry body Master Builders Australia (MBA) was positive about the program, particularly coming as it did in the middle of an uncertain time for vocational training in the industry.

    "The government's initiative will be a positive for the building and construction industry to help boost the recruitment and retention of apprentices," said MBAChief Executive Wilhelm Harnisch in a September 8 release. 

    The program will satisfy much of what the MBA has been demanding for some time, including cutting red tape and making a sustainable apprenticeship model. According to the government, apprenticeship completion rates are only around 50 per cent at the moment. 

    Alongside this, the government is investing $38 million into the Training for Employment Scholarship and Youth Pathways program, which will fund small to medium business for up to 26 weeks of training when they hire an unemployed person aged between 18-24. It will start with an initial 7,500 scholarships, and an additional 3,000 places for funding for training for Australian teens out of school.

    All of this should not only help fix Australia's issues with youth unemployment, but be a source of labour for growing construction businesses.

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    Nathan Mills
    Nathan is a seasoned Kennards Hire team member passionate about empowering DIYers in their projects. He loves everything DIY and brings together years of equipment and project experience to help customers get the right tools for their next job.