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Illawarra Business Chamber wants more young women to earn and learn with an apprenticeship

Release Date: 27/02/2015
The NSW Business Chamber, the state’s peak business organisation, has released a major report on the effectiveness of secondary schooling in New South Wales and called for bi-partisan commitment to wide-ranging reforms to post-Year 10 education and training.
“This report confirms what we have been hearing from our members for a number of years, which is that our secondary schooling system is failing to equip young people with the skills they need to succeed in the workplace,” said Illawarra Business Chamber CEO Debra Murphy.
“In the Illawarra region 37% of businesses report that there is a skills shortage in their business but at the same time we have a staggering 17% youth unemployment rate. 
“Too many young Illawarra residents, particularly young women, transition into part-time, casual and low skills work from school which often leads to a cycle into and out of employment. I’d love to see more young women reaping well establish benefits of apprenticeships.
"Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job with study and are one of the best ways to prepare young people for the demands of today’s evolving workplace.
“At present just 2% of traditional trade apprentices in the Illawarra are female.  We need to break down the stereotypes and make the Illawarra a place where young women just like young men build and enhance their long-term employability by engaging with the vocational education and training (VET) systems and apprenticeship system.
“A key problem in NSW, and the Australian vocational education system more broadly, is that it is still governed by an ‘education logic’, rather than the ‘employment logic’ found in countries such as Germany and Denmark which emphasises apprenticeships and helping students transition from school to the workforce. 
“This is an important consideration when we turn our attention to VET in Schools. International evidence suggests that skills development is stronger if businesses contribute to the design and availability of quality training.
“We need to take a serious look at existing school culture which privileges traditional academic subjects, and find a better way to cater for the more than 60 per cent of school leavers who choose not to attend university immediately after school.
 “The business community in Illawarra region has a vested interest in the education system providing the right training for our young people.
“We want young adults, when they finish their education, to have developed the skills they need to succeed in Illawarra community, including in the workforce,” Ms Murphy said. 

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