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Apprenticeship system in ‘crisis’: PIAA

Wednesday, 01 November 2017
By Print 21 Online Article

Printing Industries’ CEO Andrew Macaulay has called for a new national apprenticeship system to combat a disturbing collapse in apprenticeship numbers in recent years.

New data from the Productivity Commission has revealed that apprenticeships fell from 500,000 to 275,000 over the last five years.

‘The apprenticeship system is in crisis’: Andrew Macaulay CEO PIAA.

“The five-year productivity review issued by the Productivity Commission to government is a real wake-up call for Australia”, says Macaulay.

“The acknowledgement by the commission that vocational training is in ‘disarray’ aligns to what we observe in the printing, packaging and allied sectors. Investment by all governments is well down and the apprenticeship system is in crisis. Overall, apprenticeship numbers have collapsed from 500,000 to 275,000 in the last five years. These are lost jobs and lost opportunities for young people and our industries.

“We urgently need a national system,” says Macaulay. “Currently, apprenticeship skills, qualifications and timeframes vary from state to state and territory to territory and businesses have to deal with eight different jurisdictions. This is costly, time consuming and very frustrating. To regain our international competitiveness as a nation and secure the jobs of today and tomorrow for our people, we need to act in a nationally coordinated way.”

The review is the first of its kind to assess the factors and influences that may affect Australia’s economic performance over the medium term, in order to advise where priorities should lie if we are to enhance national welfare.

“This fundamental document will govern the political priorities and policies for the next 2-5 years, and I’m thrilled that education has been highlighted as a key driver of prosperity and benefit to all Australians,” Macaulay says. “We now need a national campaign to promote apprenticeships to young people as an exciting path into a job and career.”

Read the full productivity review here.

3 Responses to “Apprenticeship system in ‘crisis’: PIAA”

  1. November 01, 2017 at 8:08 pm,

    Ben Le Vagueresse

    There is more to this than just apprentices – the loss of print shops, the decline of print needs, the move to digital in most facets of printing, the change in print shop owners attitude to losing staff for training.
    Has anyone bothered to find out how much print has been sent overseas by multi-national print companies?
    Time to look at the whole picture.

  2. November 02, 2017 at 8:52 am,


    Who would put an apprentice on?

    Places going broke, government handing work to foreign companies over local (hello Fuji Xerox Document Solutions and Malcolm Turnbull!), an industry run by people way out of their depth, phoenix operators and foreigners with access to seemingly unlimited finds from overseas to scoop up the dregs.

    And you want to tell a sixteen year old he has a future in print?

  3. November 02, 2017 at 7:08 pm,

    Inky McFee

    That pic of the suited guy telling the printer he’s an inch out of rego looks like it was pilfered from a Heidelberg M-Offset Brochure published in 1992!

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