Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

The Reasons Regional Apprentices Drop Out

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

The Reasons Regional Apprentices Drop Out

Article excerpt

Byline: Geoff Egan Geoff.Egan@newsregionalmedia.com.au

NEARLY 2000 regional Queensland apprentices and trainees have abandoned their training in the past 18 months - and the dropout rate is climbing in the regions.

National Centre for Vocational Education Research figures show across regional Queensland 1926 apprentices and trainees dropped out between mid-2015 and December 2016.

Dropouts increased 5 per cent across inner regional areas including the Fraser Coast. The Brisbane the dropout rate decreased 5 per cent.

A recent report from Construction Skills Queensland also details the number of new apprentices in the construction industry decreasing across regional Queensland.

Industry advocates have called for more access to training at schools and for more mentors for existing regional apprentices to reduce dropouts.

QUT regional economic expert Mark McGovern said young apprentices were not convinced a trade would be worth it because of a lack of infrastructure projects, a depressed rural economy and centralisation of services in cities. He said the centralisation of such things as railway workshops, power and phone services in central cities meant there was less work in regional areas for people studying those trades.

"It's not like the government doesn't know about these things," he said.

"Each of the parties needs to work out what specifically they are going to do about it.

"The whole rural economy is depressed. That's the base level for employment in regional areas. Investment projects are the cream floating on top of that."

TAFE Queensland SkillsTech acting general manager John Tucker said the number of people completing apprenticeships was linked to a region's economic performance.

When you're in an area where the economy is lagging or a major boom has ended then the number of people dropping out and not finishing their training will increase, he said.

Mr Tucker said financial concerns and a lack of support and two of the main reasons people dropped out of training. …

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