Apprenticeships, trainees in the spotlight

The trainee and apprenticeship landscape has come a long way from the days of a four-year locked in full-time contract.

This was the message from Skilling SA representatives when they addressed the Women in Business Regional Network lunch in Victor Harbor on October 14.

Skilling SA has partnered with the network to deliver information and assist regional women in business to take on apprentices and trainees, and to explain the many opportunities for financial and other assistance, plus the scope of training options that are available.

Skilling SA project officer Melanie Mazurek explained that the State Government has a quota of 20,800 apprenticeships or traineeships in South Australia over a four year period.  She said the first year’s quota had been met and now there were three years remaining.

In the Fleurieu and Kangaroo Island region 26 per cent of active training contracts are for women and 35 per cent of those are located in Victor Harbor.

The big growth area has been hairdressing which has experienced a spike in signups.  As well as hairdressing, retail and commercial cookery had been the main categories for training contracts over the past 12 months.

Ms Mazurek outlined a range of options for training contracts, including part-time trainees, school-based apprentices, group training programs and traineeships for existing staff.

She said Skilling SA was not just trying to encourage employers to take on apprentices and trainees, but was also trying to ensure young people looked at options rather than university when they left school.

Employers also had a new way to access information about training and apprenticeships.

Among the changes is the need for employers of apprentices and trainees to be registered and screened by the Department prior to engaging an employee.  A 1800 number had also been setup and businesses were urged to call 1800 673 097 if they had queries about upskilling, apprenticeships and traineeships.  They could also visit the website skills.sa.gov.au.

Ms Mazurek provided some local statistics about apprentices and trainees.

The next Victor Harbor function for the network will be a dinner on Thursday, October 31 when Mark Przibilla will be speaking about the Victor Harbor economy: the challenges and opportunities ahead.

The next Victor Harbor lunch will be on Wednesday, November 27 when a representative from nbn™ Local will be speaking about how to get the most out of your internet connection for business and will be fielding questions and concerns about the nbn™ system.

Harriett and Kate Henning, Karen Shields, June Finlay, Melanie Mazurek from Skilling SA, Leanne Reynolds with, at front, Kathryn Roberts, Karen Green and Julie Irwin.