Apprenticeships have a very long history in Australia, building on the traditions of the medieval guilds. The essence of the apprenticeship is the contract of training—a legal contract between an individual, an employer and a training provider. The defining characteristic is the combination of employment and training. The purpose of this paper is to describe what we know about apprenticeships and traineeships, with a view to assessing the likely impact of the current economic downturn on them.
About the research
The purpose of this paper is to describe what we know about apprenticeships and traineeships, with a view to assessing the likely impact of the current economic downturn on them.
- There is considerable evidence that the downturn has hit apprenticeships, although there appears to be a lesser effect on traineeships.
- In terms of what matters, we argue that it is commencements rather than completions that need attention.
- Policies need to distinguish between apprentices and trainees and take account of the very different circumstances that apply at the occupation level.
It is important in the debate to remember the genesis of traineeships—the high levels of unemployment in the 1980s. They were primarily seen as a way of reducing unemployment, rather than a skilling strategy. This may be particularly pertinent to disadvantaged groups for which traineeships may be especially important.
Managing Director, NCVER
In this interview, Steve Davis talks with Tom Karmel about his report 'Apprenticeships in the downtu… Show more