Rally to save apprentices jobs

The VicTec apprentices committee has organised a rally on Victorian parliament steps to protest the increasing number of retrenchments of apprentices, to take place on March 19.

VicTec is a group training company employing more than 200 electrical apprentices. The protest aims to put pressure on the federal and state governments to fund an 18-week skills enhancement program.

The program, which is available at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, is ready to start if funding can be secured.

The training scheme is designed to be a "holding program" until sufficient work is available for all apprentices.

The alternative is bleak and would mean the loss of many apprentices, heightening an already severe skills shortage. Once an apprentice has been retrenched, they are unlikely to rejoin the industry.

Apprentices are fighting for their future as well as their immediate financial survival. Protest organisers urge all out of work apprentices to attend the rally.

For more information phone Simon 0405 436 096 or Tim 0413 756 808.