The National Apprenticeships Program (NAP) was developed by East Coast Apprenticeships, a not-for-profit Group Training Organisation with more than 20 years industry experience, to specifically address the growing shortage of skilled workers in the minerals and energy sectors.
In 2010, the Federal Government’s National Resources Sector Employment Taskforce report predicted the shortage of tradespeople to reach at least 36,000 by 2015.
NAP’s solution was the Advanced Entry Adult Apprenticeship scheme – an innovative alternative for talented Australians with extensive trade skills and experience, but not necessarily a formal qualification, to complete trade training, potentially within 18 months.
It was launched by the Federal Minister for Skills and Jobs, Senator Chris Evans, in March 2011, and quickly became a multi-stakeholder initiative with growing support from the minerals, resources and energy sectors, governments, training providers and participating GTOs.
East Coast Apprenticeships is the appointed Program Manager with the CEO East Coast Apprenticeships nominated as the Program Director.
Pine Rivers Caboolture and Redcliffe Group Training Scheme Incorporated, trading as East Coast Apprenticeships is registered in Queensland as a “Not for Profit” organisation under the Queensland Associations Incorporated Act. East Coast Apprenticeships is a registered Quality Group Training Organisation. As such, East Coast Apprenticeships is the legal entity managing the National Apprenticeships Program.
Six trades are being offered at this stage:
* Electrical Fitter Mechanic * Dual Trade Electrical/Instrumentation
* Diesel Fitter * Engineering Trade Fabrication - Boiler Maker/Welders/Pipe Fitter
* Mechanical Fitter * Carpentry/Formworker.
The program has two stages:
- Recognition of Prior Learning - an formal assessment of existing trade skills through SkillsTech Australia, (TAFE) demonstrating applicants have at least 40% of aligned trade skills.
- Gap training – which is tailored to the individual’s and industry’s requirements.
Likely candidates, usually aged between 25 and 45, include:
- * people who have partly completed an apprenticeship;
- * permanent Australian residents with overseas qualifications not yet recognised in Australia;
- * ex-members of the defence forces with trade-aligned skills
- * people with other related trade qualifications
- * trades assistants from the construction and engineering trades
The competency-based Program delivers tailor-made training which offers a trade qualification, without compromise, potentially inside 18 months – well short of the traditional 4 year apprenticeship.