The region’s peak business organisation, the Illawarra Business Chamber, believes more support is urgently needed to employ the next generation of apprentices and provide the skills our economy needs.

The call for critical action, made during National Skills Week, is supported by the findings of Business NSW’s recent report Skilling Australia for a better future: Supporting apprenticeships through COVID-19.
 
“Our report found that JobKeeper and the Supporting Apprentices and Trainees (SAT) subsidy have both been essential in supporting existing apprentices to maintain their employment,” said Adam Zarth, Executive Director of the Illawarra Business Chamber.
 
“It was pleasing to see the Commonwealth Government agree to help businesses keep the staff they’ve already got by extending and expanding these initiatives until March 2021.”
 
“Early indications are that while this has reduced the number of apprentice cancellations and suspensions, more is needed to support new apprentices and create employment opportunities for young people.”
 
“Without immediate support, it’s likely that 50,000 young people will be denied the opportunity of training and learning and, in the aftermath of COVID-19, Australia will experience a significant skills shortage.”
 
“That’s why we have continued our calls for additional support for new starters in our Commonwealth Pre-Budget Submission.”
 
“National Skills Week is the ideal time to implement such an initiative and give more young people and businesses the opportunity to experience the positives of an apprenticeship and reduce unemployment,” Mr Zarth said.
 
 
Media Contact: James Newton (0424 254 281)