Changes to the Queensland School Based Apprenticeship Scheme

The QLD government has recently announced a significant change to the funding model for School-based Apprenticeship and traineeships, under user choice funding.

Currently all school based apprenticeships and traineeships receive 100% funding regardless of the priority of the qualification. All of that is going to change on 1 july 2013, when the government will apply a sliding scale of funding depending on the priority of the the qualification. From July 1, only those occupations listed as critical priorities on the Queensland skills shortage list will receive 100% funding. Those occupations not on the skills shortages list but considered to be high priorities will receive 75% funding, and those not on the list but considered to be medium priorities will receive 50% funding.

So there really are to questions here, the first is will this have an effect on school-based traineeships, and the answer is definitely yes. The second question is more interesting though I think, and that is, is the change a good one?

Well it is certainly in line with the changes that were outlined last years Queensland Training Taskforce report and I can see the sense in the governments position. If the government is funding training then the training should be for outcomes in occupations that the state needs. Why should the government be funding school students to undertake qualifications that are not going to have real employment outcomes and real employment outcomes that meet the needs of industry. Do we really need to be funding school students to do a Cert III in fitness or game development when there are not enough aged care workers or builders, or electricians. I think that it is appropriate to link whether or not a qualification is going to attract funding to whether or not there is going to be a real industry focused employment outcome for the students.

I think this will certainly have an effect on the participation levels in the school based apprenticeships and traineeships and there may be some students who are unable to undertake the qualification that they wish to undertake due to financial constraints, and while that represents a problem is it a problem that we can live with if the outcomes we get provide a better result for both the student and industry.

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