ACT’s heavy hitters to talk on trades

Media Release
  • Assistant Minister for Education

Australia needs more Territory students taking up a career in trades and training to tackle current skills shortages, Federal Assistant Minister for Education Sussan Ley said today.

Ms Ley, the Minister responsible for Vocational Education and Training in Schools (VETiS), is holding roundtable talks in Canberra today with a panel of A.C.T experts from industry, training, education and the government sector.

"The fact we have just 2.7 per cent of ACT school students aged 15-19 enrolling in a school-based apprenticeship shows the former government’s deliberate effort to put ‘university on a pedestal’ over trades had put Australia’s economic success at risk", Ms Ley said.

"This is despite a range of skills shortages in the Territory; from mechanics, painters and panel-beaters though to chefs, landscape gardeners and hairdressers, making employment in these areas an attractive option for local school leavers."

"Our kids need the freedom and support at school to choose a career in the trades, without feeling like they’re playing on the ‘b team’ in deciding not to go to Uni."

"Employers and industry constantly tell me they need apprentices and graduates with high-quality skills and meaningful on-the-job experience to help grow their business. That simply isn’t being delivered as consistently as needed by the current VETiS system", Ms Ley concluded.

The Abbott Government is working with the ACT and all state and territory governments to update the National VETiS Framework for the first time since 2001.

Today’s meeting is the last of a series of nationwide roundtables before an updated Framework, incorporating the feedback provided, will be presented to all state and territory Ministers for endorsement at the next Education Council on 12 December.

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