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Ministers Award for Excellence

<p>Minister&rsquo;s Awards for Excellence for outstanding employers The Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Julia Gillard, has today encouraged employers to nominate for the 2009 Minister&rsquo;s Awards for Excellence for the Employers of Australian Apprenticeships award category. During an economic downturn, employers often find it more challenging to maintain their support for apprentices and trainees. Through these awards, the Rudd Government is acknowledging those businesses which are continuing to invest in apprentices and trainees during these difficult days. The Rudd Government has committed $155 million in incentives to encourage employers, Group Training Organisations and training providers to take on out-of-trade apprentices and trainees in these difficult economic times. As part of the Rudd Government&rsquo;s plan to support jobs, Securing Apprenticeships will provide a pathway for out-of-trade apprentices and trainees to remain connected to the workforce and maintain their training. By Securing Apprenticeships now, the Rudd Government will ensure that we continue to build the national skills base allowing Australia to grow as the economy recovers. A highly skilled workforce provides individuals with greater job opportunities and will benefit the Australian economy in the longer term. The awards recognise outstanding achievements and best practice in the training of apprentices and trainees in 22 regions across Australia. There are three categories for the Minister&rsquo;s Awards for Excellence:</p> <p>Minister&rsquo;s Award for Excellence for Employers of Australian Apprentices, for organisations who employ apprentices and trainees Minister&rsquo;s Awards for Support Services Excellence, for staff of Australian Apprenticeships Centres Minister&rsquo;s Award for Excellence for Commitment to Australian Apprenticeships, for individuals who have made a significant, long-term contribution to the training of Australian Apprentices. Each regional winner receives $5,000 prize money and a certificate. A trophy will be presented by the Minister at a presentation ceremony and dinner to be held at Parliament House, Canberra on Tuesday 18 August 2009. Applications for the Employer award category open today and will close on Monday 11 May 2009. Application forms and further information are now available at www.australianapprenticeships.gov.au/awards/ministers_awards.asp &lt;http://www.australianapprenticeships.gov.au/awards/ministers_awards.asp&gt;</p>

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