The Australian National Audit Office’s (ANAO) report into the Apprenticeships Incentives Program, released today, shows that once again Labor failed to have in place a system to ensure that programmes deliver meaningful outcomes.

Assistant Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham, said today’s report concludes that Labor failed to properly administer the apprenticeships incentives scheme as part of its broader failure in vocational education and training policy.

“At the same time as the Labor Government was failing to ensure the apprenticeship incentive system worked, it cut more than one billion dollars from apprenticeships between the 2011-12 Budget and the 2013 Federal Election, including millions of dollars in incentives taken out overnight on the eve of the election,” Senator Birmingham said.

“Just like the independent review of Labor’s Trade Training Centres, which found there were no KPIs, employers did not value the training being provided to students, and the Centres were at risk of becoming white elephants, the Auditor-General has found Labor’s administration of the Australian Apprenticeship Incentives Program measured outputs, not outcomes, leaving it unable “to assess the extent to which the AAIP is achieving its overall objectives” (p21).

“Labor also added to the costs of employing an apprentice by making employers responsible for the administration of apprenticeships, including determining which incentives they and their apprentice were eligible for.

“Our government reversed this decision, saving employers an estimated $46m per year in ongoing red tape costs. That is time and resources that employers can now spend on building their business and training their apprentice, rather than doing the government’s paperwork.

“Gone are the days of training for training’s sake. Our Government support for apprentices, apprenticeships and employers is targeted to address the needs of individual apprentices, and employers, to help grow a skilled workforce, and contribute to Australia’s economic growth, competitiveness and productivity.

“We have a new Australian Apprenticeship Support Network that starts from 1 July which will better match apprentices to their trade and their employer before they start, we have introduced new trade support loans which assist apprentices with their cost of living when wages are lowest and we are continuing to provide incentives for employers to help with the cost of employing an apprentice,” Senator Birmingham said.

To view the report please visit: