Apprentices set for pay rise

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Apprentices may be set to get a pay rise as part of Government reforms to harmonise apprenticeships and increase completion rates.

As part of the Government’s reform package apprentice wages, some of which are as low as $10 an hour, will be reviewed.

The $1.1 billion apprenticeships incentives program will also be investigated amid claims some companies are using the fund as a wage subsidy instead of for training.

Moves to harmonise and streamline apprenticeship regulations will also mean trainees who move between states will have their training recognised.

In a statement yesterday skills minister Chris Evans said the Government was looking to increase apprenticeship completion rates and numbers in an effort to address skills shortages in Australia’s key industries.

Evans also announced yesterday that high profile Australians, including former Geelong captain Cameron Ling and former NRL great Andrew Ryan would work with the Government and industry to promote apprenticeships.

The Australian Manufacturers Union said in a statement it welcomed the Government’s reforms.

“At the start of the year, we were confronted with the worst crisis in training that we have seen in decades. Only 48% of apprentices were completing their training and becoming trades people,” it said.

“The key reasons why apprentices were dropping out were the low wages, and inadequate training or difficulties with their employer, such as only doing menial tasks.”

The AMU said it also supported moves to have apprentices with proven competency finish early.

But it said accelerated apprenticeships must not come at the cost of diluted skills or competencies.

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