Is four years too long to complete an apprenticeship/traineeship? Well, a program has been introduced to fast track apprentices and trainees so that they may complete their training in much less time.
The program is scheduled to run for four years and will conclude on 30 June 2013. It was designed to benefit both employers and apprentices, to help tackle Australia’s skills shortage and to prepare the nation for the future, when it is believed that thousands of workers will be needed to support a major boom but that fewer young people will be joining the workforce due to decreased birth rates.
The Fast-Track Apprenticeships Australia Program benefits employers by developing a highly skilled workforce in a shorter period of time and allows apprentices and trainees to complete their training when they are competent, rather than based on a predetermined time frame.
The program allows Registered Training Organisations and lead organisations to submit applications in order to be able to accelerate the training of apprentices for Certificate III or IV in trades identified on the National Skills Needs List and State and Territory Skill shortage Lists. Employers continuously asses their apprentices and their level of competency in order to determine when they are prepared to complete their training and in order to ensure the quality of education.
The program is designed to enhance the flexibility of apprenticeships and traineeships by allowing participants to complete their training in as little as half the time that it takes currently.
This will encourage older people to stay in the workforce, which will be important in the future when less young people will be available to fill vacancies, and promote career change decisions. Changing your occupation is a big commitment however this Fast-Track Program will support that decision and promote vocational trades through accelerated learning.
This will be especially helpful to mature age apprentices who may not particularly want to take on a four year apprenticeship or traineeship.
The program is based on a similar apprentice program for chefs, introduced in 2006. It is expected to see great results, helping to address the national skills shortage that Australia is experiencing, all without affecting the quality of training that is provided.
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