New apprenticeship support providers

THREE new providers have officially been selected to run Australian Apprenticeships Centres in the Gippsland region, according to the Federal Government.

The three successful service providers are MEGT Australia Limited, Ausnac and the Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which have accepted the contract from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2014.

This confirms a report in The Express (on 23 April) locally grown training organisation Apprenticeships Group Australia had lost the tender to provide Australian Apprenticeships Support Services through AACs in the region.

In response to questions on how the new service providers would affect local apprentices and employers, a spokesperson for Federal Skills Minister Chris Evans said the new organisations were “assessed as having the best demonstrated capacity to deliver a high quality service”.

The spokesperson said individual centres would work with industries in the region looking to invest in a skilled local workforce through apprenticeships, adding the organisations had a local presence in the region.

It is believed some local employers have received letters from the Department of Industry Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education advising them of the change in apprenticeship support services from 1 July.

“This competitive tender has resulted in some existing AACs not winning business in the next contract period,” a letter sighted by The Express said.

“From 1 July 2012, Apprenticeships Group Australia, will cease to deliver Australian Apprenticeships Support Services in the Gippsland region.”

The letter also advised employers the new arrangements would not be changed until at least 1 November to allow for a “settling-in period” at the start of the new contract.

In late April, it was announced 23 organisations across Australia had accepted two-year contracts worth more than $400 million to deliver Australian Apprenticeships Support Services for apprentices and their employers.

Mr Evans’ office said as part of their performance requirements, each organisation will be required to support more people to complete their apprenticeships, including indigenous Australians, people with a disability, mature-aged workers and those completing school-based apprenticeships.