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The Forum > Article Comments > Apprenticeships aren't broken: government must stop trying to 'fix' them > Comments

Apprenticeships aren't broken: government must stop trying to 'fix' them : Comments

By Naomi Dinnen, published 17/6/2013

Despite the broad satisfaction with the current apprenticeship system from employers and apprentices, government can't help itself from wheeling out the policy toolkit to tinker with the workforce skills machine.

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Hi Naomi.

I am an electrician currently entering my ninth week of unemployment and I completely disagree with your analysis.

To begin with, it was the government and the unions insistence on "fixing" an apprenticeship system that wasn't broken forty years ago, that is creating problems today. Prior to the Whitlam era, it was very easy for worthless, immature, crime prone, lazy, over active under achievers like myself, to get an apprenticeship. I was the sort of male teenager still possessing an adolescent brain that young ladies such as yourself would prefer not to know, Naomi.

It is true that wages were low, but for a young male from a single parent household, working with older and more mature males did wonders for my dismally low emotional intelligence. When the government demanded substantial pay rises for apprentices, the employers simply stopped hiring apprentices. The government was then forced to think up expensive bureaucratic solutions that did not work, as evidenced by their continuing need to "fix" the problem they created.

I still thank my lucky stars that I was hired as an apprentice when almost anyone could get an apprenticeship. If I had been born twenty years later, I would probably be a labourer now. Most companies today will not hire apprentices, they are just too expensive.

As for this mythical "skills shortage" don't make me laugh. My last employer had six positions available for 9 months of casual work and he got 300 replies before he took the phone off the hook. I got one of those positions because of my "stand out" resume.

The reason why there is a mythical "skills shortage" is once again the result of the government and the unions buggering everything up. Take a look on SEEK and you will note that every job being offered is demanding that the applicants have at least half a dozen exotic "licenses" to do work they once did not need a "ticket" to do.

Many of these licenses need to be constantly renewed with ever more training, and most workers just get fed up and give up.
Posted by LEGO, Monday, 17 June 2013 7:52:45 AM
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