The MTA was excited to have the South Australian Premier Steven Marshall as Guest Speaker at the 2018 MTA President’s Luncheon on Friday November 2.
The Premier indicated at the Luncheon that training and apprenticeships are well and truly on the agenda for the State Government as well as improving business conditions in this state saying, “I know that one of the biggest issues that is confronting your sector is the availability of skills for your industry. Over the last five years, South Australia’s VET participation rate has fallen significantly. This has resulted in lower levels of training areas critical to the state and in particular, the number of apprentices which are absolutely vital to the automotive sector. Attracting quality candidates to take up apprenticeships in your industry is absolutely vital and the new government recognises this. The MTA is doing their part to increase the number of people coming into this industry and are employing almost 500 apprentices in this state and quite frankly, that deserves a round of applause.”
Pleasingly, the Premier acknowledged the work that the MTA, hosts, members and the broader automotive industry in South Australia are doing to increase skills and training with the assistance of the State Government saying, “What we’re going to be doing is working very hard to rebuild the training system, the reputation, the capability and encouraging as many people as possible to consider technical skills for their future careers. That’s why we were the first state in Australia to sign up to the Federal Government’s Skilling Australian’s program and in our very first budget, a tough budget but fair budget, we provided more than $200 million into creating more than 20,000 apprentices and trainees in this state.”
The Premier also spoke about how they will increase training and employment opportunities in South Australia, referring back to pre-election commitments saying, “We took to the election a commitment to create more jobs and boost training opportunities in South Australia. That’s exactly what we have done. We’re also re-establishing the industries skills councils and they will be in place from the first of January next year. These new councils will form a revitalised training and skills commission which we have made sure will play a vital role in providing advice to the government so that we can provide the jobs and the skills you need to grow your sector.”
Ensuring that training is industry lead through working with the MTA and adapting to emerging technology is of the utmost importance to the automotive industry in South Australia. The Premier further expanded on funding for skills and training saying, “We’re working with the education sector as well through our schools to change attitudes of teachers, young people and families towards going into apprenticeships.”
While the Premier acknowledged the place for university degrees, he reiterated the need for schools to promote career pathways in a trade saying, “I come from a manufacturing background so I’m probably a little biased. The reality is for a long while, parents and teachers in schools have said the pathway for kids in schools is to go off to university and this will suit a lot of kids but it doesn’t suit every student in South Australia. I don’t want us to be in a position where a technical skill is a fall-back position if you don’t get into university. I think it should be first choice.”