Employers of apprentices and trainees seek positive vision for skills training

Employers of apprentices and trainees seek positive vision for skills training

The country’s biggest network employer of apprentices and trainees has called on sitting MPs and candidates for the federal election to show support for the future of apprentices and trainees in their local communities.

Novaskill is part of the national group training network, which collectively employs some 25,000 apprentices and trainees across Australia. As a not-for-profit organisation, Novaskill’s mission is to support the community and enrich people’s lives, something that starts with skilling the next generation.

In the Hunter region alone, Novaskill supply over 100 apprentices and trainees to local businesses in a variety of industries and occupations. Through in-house support programs targeted at Indigenous Australia’s and at-risk youth, Novaskill’s Group Training services see retention and completion rates for apprentices and trainees well above 80%, which significantly outstrips the NSW average which was recorded at around 63% in 2016.

Assistant General Manager, Amanda Reilly said the election campaign is the opportunity for sitting members and candidates to demonstrate how their policies will provide opportunities to grow apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities for young people.

“The number of apprenticeships and traineeships has declined in recent years, and there is an urgent need for policies to revitalise the sector and open up more training and employment opportunities,” Amanda said.

Group training organisations (GTOs) directly employ thousands of apprentices and trainees around Australia and place them with host businesses where they undertake on-the-job and formal training.

These apprentices and trainees can be rotated to a different host business when, for example, work has finished with one host, or new skills are needed by the apprentice or trainee.

Novaskill is seeking consideration for adequate funding for apprenticeships and traineeships as part of a thriving Vocational Education and Training (VET) system; raising the profile of VET to parents, schools and students as a desirable alternative to university; incorporating GTOs as a key part of government young worker job creation initiatives; investing in GTOs to develop initiatives that increase apprentice commencement and completion rates, and ensuring GTOs are exempt from any future labour hire licencing schemes.

“Group training organisations are owned and run by local people, they employ and train local people, and have links with businesses, employers, schools, careers advisers, TAFEs and other training providers,” Amanda said.

“This is the chance for all those running for political office to meet with local apprentices and trainees and explain what they will do to support this vital part of the community.

“We would like to hear exactly how their policies will address the main issues in VET and how they can restore apprenticeships and traineeships as a bedrock of skills development.”

IMAGE | Novaskill is pushing candidates for the federal election to show support for the future of apprentices and trainees in the Hunter.


Novaskill is a leading workforce education provider, passionate about connecting people to a world of learning, jobs and personal development.

It is a not-for-profit organisation that delivers training, recruitment and mentoring services and apprenticeship management throughout their eight Australian branches, as well as specialised training to international students in Newcastle and abroad.

Novaskill’s commitment and leadership to the provision of foundational workforce solutions has transformed clients, partners, students and employers, but most importantly has allowed them to achieve their mission to support communities by enriching people’s lives.

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