Budget means more apprentices for Blaxland


The Rudd Government will invest almost $80 million to extend the Apprentice Kickstart initiative which boosted traditional trade apprenticeship numbers above pre-global recession levels in just one year.

Apprentice Kickstart more than triples the commencement bonus for employers of traditional trades apprentices in the first year from $1500 to $4850.

Member for Blaxland Jason Clare said that the initiative had been so successful it had smashed its target of 21,000 with about 24,400 young people starting an apprenticeship in the traditional trades last summer.

“During the 1990s recession, apprenticeship commencements in key traditional trades fell 34 per cent and it took 13 years before we recruited the same number of apprentices again,” Mr Clare said.

“Thanks to the Rudd Government we have done it in one year, not 13.

“But we still need more apprentices.

“That’s why we’re investing almost $80 million to support around 22,500 new apprenticeship places in traditional trades experiencing skills shortages.

“This funding will be targeted at helping small and medium businesses with fewer than 200 employees put on more apprentices.

Mr Clare said the economic downturn particularly hurt apprenticeships, but with the support of employers and young people Apprentice Kickstart had been a great success.

“Increased apprenticeship training is crucial to building a stronger economy,” Mr Clare said.

“Thanks to Apprentice Kickstart we’re training more electricians, carpenters, plumbers and bakers.

“We helped 124 local apprentices get a start last summer.

Apprenticeship commencements in Blaxland

Dec ’07 – Feb ’08Dec ’08 – Feb ’09Kickstart Apprentices  Dec ’09 – Feb ’10

“We’ve got more work to do – and that’s why I’m encouraging local businesses to take advantage of the extension to give more local kids a start in a new career.”

Apprentice Kickstart will be extended for six months from 12 May to 12 November this year.

Media Contact: Chris Zogopoulos T: (02) 9790 2466