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Trainee Numbers Hold Up Despite Downturn

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Anne Tolley
Anne Tolley

A small rise in industry trainee and modern apprenticeship numbers is a welcome sign that employers remain committed to training despite the economic downturn, Tertiary Education Minister Anne Tolley said today.

"Industry Training Organisations have reported an increase in trainee numbers of 151 between December 2008 and March 2009, up to a total of 133,454 trainees.

"We are pleased that these numbers are holding up, showing companies and individuals are committing to ongoing training even in these challenging economic times," Anne Tolley said. "Good quality tertiary training is vital to improving the country's skills base so we can take full advantage of the eventual economic upturn."

The overall increase in trainee numbers was most evident in the road transport, hospitality, boating and electricity supply sectors. But there have been reduced numbers training in the forestry, building and construction, retail and real estate sectors.

"The Government has continued its commitment to industry training through Budget 2009, by maintaining funded places for 2010," says Anne Tolley.

In April the Government announced an extension to the time frame for trainees to find work while still being eligible for government training subsidies. Trainees that change employers or lose their jobs can now continue their training for 12 weeks, double the previous six week limit. This gives Industry Training Organisations and Modern Apprenticeship Co-ordinators a greater opportunity to find trainees a new job.

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