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Apprenticeships a great way to launch your career

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If you have just finished school, are re-entering the workforce or simply want to change careers – have you considered applying for an Australian apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships do not require any entry qualifications and are available to anyone of working age. They can provide a great transition from school to work, give you a head start in your career, can be pursued full-time or part-time, and lead to nationally recognised qualifications and skills in areas as diverse as building and construction, agriculture, hospitality, transport and telecommunications.

‘Beginning a new apprenticeship, or resuming a discontinued one, is a great way to get yourself on track to future self-employment and a good income in industries with varied and interesting work. The long-term benefits of undertaking an apprenticeship need to be better understood by school leavers and their parents,’ says Peter Anderson, Chief Executive of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Apprenticeships are more attractive than ever with the introduction of the Tools For Your Trade payment initiative, which provides up to $3,800 to eligible Australian apprentices over the life of their apprenticeship. This payment is available to eligible apprentices who are undertaking an Australian apprenticeship in a trade occupation listed on the National Skills Needs List, an agricultural occupation, or a horticultural occupation if in rural or regional Australia.

Apprenticeships are also attractive to employers, with the Apprentice Kickstart scheme offering a time-limited Apprentice Kickstart Bonus for employers of Australian apprentices in skills shortage trades. Only available until 28 February 2010, the Apprentice Kickstart Bonus grants $3,350 to employers who take on a young person aged 19 years and under into a traditional trade Australian apprenticeship.

‘Employers who can give an apprentice a go, should do so once the new year ticks over. With the economy strengthening as we leave 2009 behind, and an ever-increasing population boosting demand, skill shortages are looming large on the horizon, which provides school leavers with good future employment prospects if they choose an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship offers a chance to earn while you learn,’ says Anderson.

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