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Second chance training and jobs for 400 adult apprentices

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Four hundred adult apprentices will be given a second chance to complete a formal qualification and be employed in the construction of three Queensland LNG plants.

Minister for Skills and Jobs, Senator Chris Evans, today joined Bechtel Australia Managing Director, Andy Greig, to announce a partnership between the company and the Commonwealth to train the workers under the National Apprenticeship Program.

“This innovative program will transform the lives of these 400 semi-skilled workers. They will build on the skills they already have, achieve a formal qualification in just 18 months and graduate with strong job prospects,” Senator Evans said.

“This is the single biggest uptake of the $4 million National Apprenticeship Program which is designed to meet skills shortages in critical industries such as resources and construction.

“This is about recognising and utilising the untapped skills potential in Australia, and is one of a broad range of Australian Government responses to meet skill shortages in our patchwork economy.

“It will assist Australians from all walks of life to get the training they need to secure the skilled jobs on offer in the economy.”

The Gillard Government and Bechtel will jointly fund the training of the adult apprentices who will be recruited in six trades including:

* Electrical Fitter Mechanic;
* Dual Trade Electrical/Instrumentation;
* Metal Fabrication Boiler Maker Welders;
* Metal Fabrication Pipe Fitters;
* Engineering Diesel Fitters; and
* Carpentry Formworkers.

The National Apprenticeship Program is based on an advanced entry adult apprenticeship model and operates in two stages.

The first stage involves an assessment process to identify individuals who can demonstrate the aptitude and trade skills required to satisfy at least 40 per cent of the trade qualification requirements.

In stage two, tailored ‘gap training’ is provided to applicants to bring them up to the appropriate trade qualification level and ensure they meet industry requirements.

“The program recognises the existing skills of the apprentices and enables them to complete the competencies required to gain a trade qualification in just 18 months without comprising on quality,” Senator Evans said.

“Today’s announcement illustrates how Government and industry can work together to address the skills challenges facing Australia.

“I encourage other companies in the mining and resources sector who are seeking skilled workers to join Bechtel in taking advantage of this innovative program.

“If we want to position ourselves to maximise the benefits of the next resources boom, we need to ensure the flow of skilled workers for this industry.”

The National Apprenticeship Program builds on the Government’s $3 billion Building Australia’s Future Workforce Package which will deliver 130,000 high quality training places through direct partnerships with industry.

For further information about the National Apprenticeship Program, visit www.nationalapprenticeships.com.au

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