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State Govt announces funding for apprenticeship promise

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The state and federal governments will spend nearly $200 million to fund more than 20,000 new apprenticeships and traineeships in South Australia, fulfilling a Liberal state election promise.

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The State Government will contribute $100 million to the funding, while the Federal Government has committed at least $87 million from its Skilling Australians fund.

“This investment is a significant shot-in-the-arm for our state’s skills training sector and will help ensure more South Australians are job-ready for key growth industries such as defence,” Premier Steven Marshall said today.

He said the funding delivered on an election commitment of the new Liberal government.

The premier made the announcement alongside Minister for Industry and Skills David Pisoni at Dematec Automation, a company specialising in industrial automation, robotics and process-control for a range of industries.

The State Government said there were 14,725 apprentices and trainees in SA at the end of last year, down from 30,690 in 2013, according to data from the National Centre for Vocational Education and Research.

Details of the new program would be announced soon, with employers and apprentices able to access it from July.

Master Builders Association CEO Ian Markos welcomed the announcement.

“Today’s funding announcement is vital for the future of the building and construction industry,” he said.

“A strong apprenticeship system is crucial to ensure a prosperous industry in the future. Unfortunately, the number of apprentices has seriously declined in an environment where consumers and many of our members are already grappling with a skills shortage. With South Australia’s ageing population, long-term policy solutions are required that focus on quality training so the next generation of builders can meet demand in the decades ahead.”

– with AAP

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