9:33 AM, Feb 13 2018

31 January 2018

National Apprentice Employment Network: MEDIA RELEASE


Apprentice employment network backs call for skills review to lift innovation


Australia’s National Apprentice Employment Network (NAEN) has welcomed the federal government’s latest innovation blueprint and supports its finding that the vocational education and training (VET) sector should be overhauled.


The report from Innovation and Science Australia, ‘Australia 2030: Prosperity through Innovation’ finds that the performance of the VET sector is slipping and calls for a wide-ranging review to be completed within the next 12 months.


The National Executive Officer of NAEN, Lauren Tiltman, said that the report echoes sentiment across the sector that more needs to be done to build capability to deliver the skills and jobs required in an adaptive and creative economy.


“It is heartening that the report recognises the central place of vocational skills in the national innovation agenda,” Ms Tiltman said.


“We strongly support the idea of a comprehensive review that looks at how the VET sector helps Australia to navigate the innovation challenges, boost productivity and remain internationally competitive.


“The place of apprenticeships and traineeships is well understood in the contemporary economy, but less so in a changing world of artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics, where new skills and modes of training will be required.


“While universities will continue to generate valued R&D, the VET sector remains the critical interface with industry, where innovation, adaptation and new technology are developed and deployed.


“Much has been done by governments and industry to elevate the status of VET and to recognise its contribution to a high-growth economy. However, there is still some way to go to emulate the best, internationally, where technical and vocational skills are highly valued.


“The apprenticeship system is an adaptable and effective way to develop and harness skills. Current trials of higher level apprenticeships demonstrate this potential beyond the traditional trades,” Ms Tiltman said. 


The apprentice employment network fully supports the latest innovation report and backs its call for a thorough examination of the VET system, along with strategies to better integrate with higher education and a requirement for economy-wide skills transformation.


Media Contact: Bob Bowden, Foresight Communications 0412 753 298  bbowden@bowmac.com.au


The National Apprentice Employment Network is the national peak body representing the network of over 100 Group Training Organisations (GTOs) employing apprentices and trainees throughout Australia. www.naen.com.au