A decision by RMIT in Melbourne to pull out of printing industry training has been greeted with “shock and dismay” by employers group Printing Industries.
PIAA chief executive Bill Healey says it is imperative for the industry to act quickly and collectively to remedy the situation: “While the announcement is extremely disappointing, we 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.
Healey says industry needs to step in and take control of its own destiny and look to creating a national approach to apprenticeship training.
PIAA Victorian manager Ron Patterson –who had been working with RMIT to develop a new approach to training –was disappointed by the announcement: “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 RMIT’s decision to bail out is not welcomed,” he says.
“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.”
Healey says Printing Industries will meet RMIT to ensure apprentice training in Victoria and Tasmania continues for existing and new apprentices during an 18-month RMIT wind-up period.