Joint Media Release with The Hon Richard Marles MP and Darren Cheeseman MP
The Rudd Government’s Apprentice Kickstart initiative has seen the number of teenagers starting an apprenticeship in Geelong over summer increase by 75 per cent, Parliamentary Secretary for Employment Jason Clare announced today.
“The latest figures are in - 309 young local apprentices got a start between December and February,” Mr Clare said.
“That is 75 per cent more young apprentices than were recruited last summer.
“That’s a terrific result. In the summer of 2008, 216 young people started an apprenticeship. That fell by almost 20 per cent in the summer of 2009 to 177.
“We know that the number of people starting apprenticeships in the traditional trades plummeted by around 20 per cent nationally in 2009. That drop was felt in Geelong,”Mr Clare said.
“That’s why we introduced Apprentice Kickstart, which more than tripled the first year bonus paid to employers who took on a traditional trade apprentice over the summer.
“It worked. The number of teenagers who started an apprenticeship this summer in Geelong is even higher than it was before the global recession.” Member for Corio Richard Marles congratulated everyone involved.
“Geelong needs more apprentices. Thanks to the Rudd Government and the efforts of local employers this program has given a lot of young people a chance,” Mr Marles said.
“This is fantastic news - not just for the apprentices who now have a job and a career path but for the whole of Geelong. This will help build the skills we need for the future of our city.”
Member for Corangamite Darren Cheeseman paid tribute to the local community for getting behind the campaign for more apprentices in the region.
“I personally wrote to every builder and tradesmen I could get the address of in the region because I thought Kickstart was such a great program,” Mr Cheeseman said.
“These employers have obviously responded, and now we have hundreds of kids into apprenticeships, increasing their future job security by giving them the opportunity of a trade. It’s a great result.”