Party time for ASA

More than 120 companies and trainee providers turned out to celebrate Apprentice Support Australia’s 20th anniversary last week.

CCI has partnered with the Federal Government to provide the free support service, which has been bringing employers together with apprentices and trainees since CCI began a pilot program in WA more than 20 years ago.

Representatives from the State Training Authority, WA TAFEs and Jobs and Skills Centres, Registered Training Organisations and Apprenticeship Support Australia WA’s clients attended the event at CCI’s East Perth function centre.

CCI CEO Chris Rodwell said the Chamber initially agreed to work with the Federal Government to get 2400 apprenticeships and traineeships established in 14 months as part of a trial.

“We set up a small team in metro and regional locations across WA, which at that time was called Employfast, and we saw the benefits of having support services almost immediately,” Rodwell said.

“In the end, we delivered 57 per cent over target, with more than 3800 contracts set up in the initial period.”

The importance of the service quickly came to light, growing from less than 20 staff in eight locations to now being known as Apprenticeship Support Australia WA, with more than 50 staff across 14 offices.

Chambers across the country also took on the service, signing up more than 1.5 million apprentices and trainees since it began.

Rodwell said skilling the nation was an important pillar to the economic development of Australia, which is why it was important to work with employers across all industries and of all sizes.

“In fact, 118 employers that used our support services back in 1998 are still accessing our support services through Apprenticeship Support Australia today,” he said.

Rodwell said the Apprenticeship Support Australia team, led by manager Lena Constantine, had an unrivalled enthusiasm for training and helping the state’s workforce.

Constantine said it was important to share the milestone with everyone who had contributed to the service’s success including employers, Industry Skills Councils and to RTOs, as the longevity wouldn’t have been possible without the continued support.

“It was fantastic to hear from electrical apprentice Thalia Wilkinson on how having an apprenticeship has had a positive impact on her life,” she said.

“Clients are always thanking us for providing them with the most current and accurate information and for making the sign-up process and the ongoing administration as seamless as possible.”

Over 20 years, the WA team has:

  • Signed up almost 256,000 people into apprenticeships and traineeships across the state;
  • Worked with more than 94,000 different employers; and
  • Distributed more than $409 million worth of Federal Government employer incentives, which has assisted employers to train their employees through apprenticeships and traineeships.

► Find out how your business can benefit from Apprenticeship Support Australia, which provides free support and advice to employers, apprentices, trainees and jobseekers.

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