06 March 2012
Expert comment on apprenticeships
RMIT University's Dr Alan Montague, an expert on skill shortages in trades and professions, is available for interview on the union push to lift the wages of more than 200,000 apprentices.
The ACTU is set to launch a claim in Fair Work Australia arguing apprentice wages have failed to keep pace with the increasing number of people starting an apprenticeship at an older age.
The claim will push for adult apprentice wage rates to be lifted to the minimum wage in their industry - doubling pay in some cases.
Unions will also seek an increase in the wages of junior apprentices, some of whom are paid just $6.32 an hour.
- How important are apprenticeships in addressing Australia's current and looming skill shortages?
- Will boosting wages be enough to increase the number of apprenticeships and lift completion rates?
- What other incentives are needed?
- And what are the deeper structural problems with Australia's apprenticeship system?
Dr Montague is a Lecturer in RMIT's School of Management.
He has worked as a vocational counsellor and is the former manager of RMIT's Apprenticeship and Traineeship programs.
His research interests include education policies and their impact of industry and the labour market, global skill shortages and post-compulsory education pathways.
For interviews: RMIT University's Dr Alan Montague, (03) 9925 5653 or 0433 982 055.
For general media enquiries: RMIT University, Marketing and Communications, Gosia Kaszubska, (03) 9925 3176 or 0417 510 735.