Consulting regional employers on their skills needs

Media Release
  • Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills

Improving employer and youth engagement in apprenticeships and tackling regional youth employment are some of the key issues being discussed at a high profile vocational education forum in Warrnambool today.

Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills Karen Andrews said the forum will explore ways employers can be involved throughout the design and implementation of training packages.

“The Australian Government is committed to placing employers at the centre of skills development because we know their feedback informs the training that lead to jobs,” Minister Andrews said.

“To keep helping regional people into work, we need training packages that accurately develop the specific skills that regional employers need.

“I see the VET and apprenticeship system as part of Australia’s great ‘Education Highway’. You can get on or off a highway at different points, but a job in one of the many trades where skills are in demand is always a quality destination.”

Minister Andrews said the Australian Government was committed to boosting apprenticeship commencements and completions.

“Apprenticeships are a critical part of our plan to build a highly skilled and qualified workforce that will drive productivity and innovation,” Minister Andrews said.

“However, stakeholders consistently tell me that despite the high quality of our VET sector, we need to attract more participants and they need more flexibility.”

Minister Andrews said the Australian Government has committed $220 million towards job creation in regional Australia that will diversify and stimulate economic growth.

“While congestion and affordability are critical issues in capital and major cities, many regional cities are suffering from low or negative growth, as jobs lost in the manufacturing sector, or more recently the resources and energy sectors, are not replaced quickly enough.

We need to plan for the future of regional cities, maximising their unique advantages and supporting their long term growth.”

Minister Andrews said events like today’s forum were invaluable because policymakers need to know how their policies and programs are working with direct feedback from stakeholders on the ground.

“I will continue to work with all stakeholders, training providers and industry to make sure our reforms maintain our high quality VET sector,” Minister Andrews said.

For more on the Regional Jobs and Investment Packages visit: http://regional.gov.au/regional/regional-jobs-investment-package/

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