$62 Million plan-Apprentice Ready Program announced, expects to create 10,000 new positions

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten unveiled a $62 million plan to help Australians struggling to find work. Mr Shorten announced his Apprentice Ready program, expected to create 10,000 new positions, in Perth.

It will offer a 20-week pre-apprenticeship course for trades on the national skills needs list and will be targeted at youth unemployed for more than six months. Employers will be paid $1000 for hiring apprentices from the program.

Mr Shorten also announced a pilot for a new program with 5000 places to help mature-aged workers turn work experience into qualifications. It aims to have mature-aged apprentices complete their training within 18 months to get jobs in industries with skills shortages. “Labor won’t let Australians fall behind because there is a gap between the skills they have and the ones employers are looking for,” Mr Shorten said.

“Our plans will stop the rapid fall in Australians taking up a trade.” Labor will set a target for one in 10 jobs on priority infrastructure projects to be filled by apprentices. It will conduct a review of the vocational education and training system and has pledged to rid the sector of dodgy operators.

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