More jobs for young tradies

A SURGE in young tradespeople has put the area’s apprenticeship figures above what they were before the global recession, contributing to the region’s future.

Parliamentary Secretary for Employment Jason Clare announced the Richmond-Tweed and Clarence Valley region employed more than 400 apprentices during the summer.

“The latest figures are in – and we’ve given more than 400 local apprentices here a start,” Mr Clare said.

“That’s a terrific effort, and I want to pay tribute to the local businesses who’ve hired a teenage apprentice this summer.”

Coinciding with the Federal Government’s Kickstart program, the Tweed Daily News and other APN newspapers in the region issued a challenge to the area’s employers throughout February to put on 100 apprentices before the end of the month.

“We know that the number of people starting apprenticeships in the traditional trades has plummeted by around 20 per cent over the past year,” Mr Clare said.

“That’s why the Rudd Government developed Apprentice Kickstart which more than tripled the first year bonus paid to employers who take on traditional trades apprentices over the summer.

“And it has delivered for this region.”

Richmond MP Justine Elliot congratulated everyone involved.

Ms Elliot said the number of local apprenticeships started during summer dropped from 338 in 2008 to 228 in 2009.

“Our community needed more young apprentices starting,” Ms Elliot said.

“Thanks to Apprentice Kickstart and the efforts of local employers we’ve boosted the number of local apprenticeships started over summer to above what they were before the global recession.

“It is a wonderful result for our local community.”

Ms Elliot praised the community for getting behind the campaign.

“This is fantastic news – not just for the apprentices who now have a job and a career path but for the whole local community,” she said.



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