Printing Industries says it is “shocked and dismayed” at the sudden announcement by RMIT University to pull out of printing industry training.
Bill Healey, CEO of Printing Industries says while he was “extremely disappointing” it was imperative for the industry to act quickly and collectively to remedy the situation.
Healy adds the Association and industry stakeholders must be proactive in finding a solution, not just for Victoria and Tasmania, but for the industry nationally.
He says, “Apprenticeship numbers have been declining over many years and all publicly funded training providers have been experiencing difficulties in justifying stand-alone training organisations in their states.
“Industry needs to step in and take control of its own destiny and look to creating a national approach to apprenticeship training.”
Also commenting, Ron Patterson, general manager of Printing Industries Victoria and Tasmania – who has been working with RMIT over a number of years to develop a new approach to industry training – says he was disappointed by the announcement.
Patterson adds, “A great many people have been working to create a better system for our apprentices and a modern, relevant curriculum to attract more apprentices into our technologically driven industry, so RMITs decision to bail out is not welcomed.
“However it won’t deter us and I am confident that any consolidation of training agendas would be welcomed by suppliers who are regularly faced with having to provide expensive equipment to multiple sites.
“Consolidation could lead to a better allocation of costly resources and to closer co-operation with industry. We must focus on achieving this as quickly as possible.”
Healey claims the Association has been exploring the feasibility of establishing a single national training arrangement to ensure the needs of the printing industry continued to be met into the future.
He says, “Such an arrangement would focus on improved efficiency and better promotion of a nationally consistent training pathway for apprentices. We are currently preparing an application for funding to look at the future of apprenticeships, in conjunction with the Australian Metal Workers Union.
“Given the RMIT announcement, this will need to be fast-tracked.”