Level 21, Rialto Towers, 525 Collins Street, Melbourne, Vic. 3000
Telephone: (03) 628 3600 Facsimile: (03) 628 3654
Mr Thor May
4 / 12 Wallace St
BRUNSWICK WEST VIC 3055
Dear Mr May
I write in response to your letter of 7 August 1997 to the Premier regarding the changes to the apprenticeship system to be introduced from January 1998. The Premier has asked me to respond to you on his behalf.
In your correspondence you raise a number of concerns on the impact of the changes to apprenticeships and traineeships being introduced by the Commonwealth Government under the New Apprenticeships (formerly MAATS) reforms.
I acknowledge your concerns regarding the potential problems facing small businesses in the retail motor vehicle industry, but would like to reassure you that there will be a number of processes in place to ensure that training quality is maintained and improved under the new arrangements.
In New Apprenticeships a significant proportion of training will be provided on-the-job by employers as has always been the case in apprenticeships. An important change will mean that the on-the job assessment of apprentices will, in future, have to be verified by a registered training provider.
Most apprentices will continue to have their on-the-job training complemented by formal off-the-job training. It is envisaged that, in the near future, the majority of this training will continue to be provided by TAFE Institutes. Other training providers, including enterprises and commercial providers, will progressively be able to provide this training for New Apprentices provided they are registered to do so by the State Training Board.
This greater choice of training provider will be introduced over several years, so that TAFE institutes such as Kangan Batman are given some protection from the immediate erosion of their apprentice and trainee market. The introduction of a more competitive environment will be balanced against the need to ensure that TAFE Institutes remain viable, given the public investment in their facilities and training of staff.
I am confident that the general quality assurance arrangements underpinning the New Apprenticeship reforms will ensure that training for the automotive industry will be of a continuing high standard.
If you require further information regarding the introduction of New Apprenticeships I suggest you might contact Mr Peter Kellock, Office of Training and Further Education on Telephone 9628 2306.
PHIL HONEYWOOD MP
Minister for Tertiary Education and Training