Apprenticeship and Traineeship numbers down
February 24, 2014 1 Comment
So the NCVER have released their December figures for Trainee and Apprenticeships and there is a decided downward direction to the numbers.
So what do these number mean if anything at all. The Australian Industry Group suggests that “These downward trends reflect continuing employer uncertainty about the state of the economy” and to some extend I think that they are correct and when this is coupled with the changes made by the previous federal government to the funding arrangements for trainees and apprentices the effects has been increased. Lack of commencement payments, a smaller list of qualifications available and smaller payments overall doesn’t just hurt RTO’s it damages the ability of business to be able to fund the training of staff, particularly in an environment where businesses are uncertain about the economic climate. Organisations will where they can attempt to recruit staff who already possess the qualifications they require rather than recruiting and then training themselves.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not suggestion that the government should fund qualifications all over the shop (we have seen the disaster that that can cause), nor am I suggesting that the government needs to increase the the amount of finding. There does however need to be a rethink of how training is funded. Take for example the idea of a commencement payment, even a relatively small one. this payment can be used to alleviate some of the cash flow issues that can be involved with completion only funding. The RTO wants and needs to be paid and doesn’t and probably shouldn’t have to wait up to two years for the person to finish in order to receive payment from the organisation. so business ends up carrying the cash flow issues of paying the training company upfront, or in installments, which can be sustained by larger businesses but which makes it more difficult on smaller businesses to be able to train their staff.
The other side of the coin is that there needs to be real vocational outcomes for people doing any program funded by the government. If their funded qualification doesn’t have solid vocational outcomes and links then why is it being funded when there are certainly lots of areas out there where there are clear needs for people with the right skills and qualifications.
or you know it could just have been because it was approaching Christmas. 🙂