Minister for Employment, Skills and Mining Stirling Hinchliffe said he strongly supported the reform agenda which included the recently launched National Apprenticeship Program.

Minister for Employment, Skills and Mining Stirling Hinchliffe has welcomed new Federal Government reforms to streamline the national apprenticeship system.

?Over the next two years the reforms will cut red tape and fast track apprenticeships, particularly for the nation?s mining industry,? Mr Hinchliffe said.

?Under the changes, agreed to by all states and territories, apprentices who move between jurisdictions will have their training recognised.?

Mr Hinchliffe said he strongly supported the reform agenda which included the recently launched National Apprenticeship Program.

?This program aims to supply adult trainees to the resource sector, with one of the first major intakes of about 400 apprentices to work at Bechtel?s Gladstone operations.?

The reforms represent the Australian Government?s response to the final report by the Apprenticeships for the 21st Century Export Panel released earlier this year.

Mr Hinchliffe said the Queensland Post-secondary Education and Training Review, and the Skills Queensland Skills and Workforce Development Investment Plan, contributed to this reform agenda.

?The reforms include an investment of more than $200 million in apprenticeships in the current Federal Budget, including the $100 million Accelerated Australian Apprenticeships package to speed up the supply of skilled workers,? he said.

?The $101 million Australian Apprenticeships Mentoring package will also provide apprentices with guidance in choosing the right occupation and ongoing mentoring throughout their training.?

Mr Hinchliffe said the Bligh Government also supported the mooted reviews of the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program and apprenticeship wages and conditions by Fair Work Australia.

?The Federal Government reforms complement moves by Skills Queensland to support the workforce needs of Queensland?s booming mining sector,? he said.

?Through the CSG/LNG Industry Training Program, the Bligh Government has made available $5 million over two years, to be complemented by industry, to respond to the need for skilling new entrants and existing workers in the industry.

?The Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) initiative also means school students, especially those in the Surat Basin, will have the opportunity to focus their education and careers in the CSG/LNG industry.

?Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ) has also developed a comprehensive CSG/LNG workforce plan to ensure the workforce keeps pace with the skills demand.

?It?s about ensuring the boom belongs to all of us, just like the resources in the ground,? Mr Hinchliffe said.