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No Frills Wrap Up

No Frills Wrap Up: What about apprenticeships?

The 26th National Vocational Education and Training Research Conference, No Frills was held in Hobart last week. Australian Apprenticeships were on show with a number of keynote speakers and concurrent sessions discussing the sector. We were lucky enough to hear a fascinating keynote speech from Adrienne Dawson from the Industry Training Federation in New Zealand discussing the benefits and difficulties faced by our close neighbours.

Encouraging young people to engage with Australian Apprenticeships information

Encouraging young people to engage with Australian Apprenticeships information

We presented the first part of our research into the ways that young people and their influencers access career information. The poster and accompanying preliminary report address the importance of giving young people good quality career information, some of the challenges facing young people making career decisions, and we reported preliminary data from our analysis of AATIS calls data and the first 65 responses to our influencers survey.

Overview of presentations

  • David Curtis from Flinders University discussed the relationship between apprenticeships and STEM skills. Most apprenticeships require moderate levels of STEM, with some including in the trades needing higher STEM skill levels.
  • Olivija Komandina from Australian Industry Trade College presented a model for school-based apprenticeships with positive outcomes including students completing school and moving into their apprenticeship full-time. The mentoring and pastoral care offered by the school, coupled with the flexible learning options, were seen as important factors in these positive outcomes.
  • Warren Guest from Holmesglen Institute discussed a mentoring and pastoral care program run at Holmesglen Institute to increase retention of apprentices. Many students accessed this assistance for a variety of needs including health (including drug and alcohol) problems, homelessness, attendance, transport, and discrimination and bullying.
  • Lisa Denny from the University of Tasmania presented her research on skills utilisation in Australia, showing technical and trades workers were most likely to be utilising their skills at work.
  • Sarah Marshall & Michelle Potts from the SA Department of State Development reported on the pre-assessment tools now in place in SA to ensure that students are undertaking qualifications that are appropriate for them, and are getting additional assistance where necessary.
  • Adam Lloyd from the University of Newcastle presented research from the Aspirations Longitudinal Study, discussing the aspirations of school students towards occupations aligned with VET qualifications. Young people reported difficulties getting information on VET, which was often seen as a second rate option compared with university.

Take home messages

The Australian Apprenticeships system is complex. Although it is in some ways a national system, there are differences between States and Territories that add a further layer of complexities for employers, apprentices, training providers and other stakeholders to navigate. In addition to this, many prospective apprentices and trainees face multiple barriers to participation, which can make it difficult for them to enter the sector.

How we can help!

Do you or someone you work with need help navigating the system? We are here to help! AATIS has information about the Australian Apprenticeships system for all States and Territories. If we can’t help, we will tell you who can and give you their contact details.

Call us on our free call line 1800 338 022 or email us at contact@aatis.com.au.

Download the pdf here

Download here

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