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Apprentices and trainees more likely to get job than bachelor degree graduates


´╗┐APPRENTICESHIPS and traineeships make Australians more employable than bachelor degrees, with higher rates of job success backing up the key message of National Skills Week.

The Employment Departments Australian Jobs 2016 report reveals 74.2 per cent of vocational education and training (VET) graduates found employment (full time or part-time) within six months of completing their qualification last year.

By comparison, 67.4 per cent of bachelor degree graduates found employment within four months.

Employers are looking for people with work experience, Brian Wexham, chief executive of National Skills Week creator SkillsOne, said.

When you do an apprenticeship or traineeship, much of it is done in the actual workplace so (workers) come out job ready ... they can immediately start making a contribution.

There were also more available jobs in vocational industries for example, hospitality and tourism.

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He said the purpose of National Skills Week, which begins today, was to highlight vocational opportunities, showcase their diversity, and talk to people who have had successful careers or started their own business.

According to the Employment Department report, VET outcomes were notably stronger than bachelor degree outcomes in education (85.6 per cent versus 83.9 per cent), architecture and building (85.1 per cent versus 69.1 per cent), engineering and related technologies (82.6 per cent versus 71.7 per cent), and agriculture, environmental and related studies (80.6 per cent versus 63.2 per cent).

Avionics aircraft maintenance engineer Rachel Bacon, 29, began studying a Bachelor of Mechatronics Engineering at university before deferring to enrol in a Certificate IV and Diploma in Aeroskills Avionics.

She said it was one of the best decisions she ever made.

A vocational course is tied in with industry, the knowledge is relevant and you apply it straight away, the Australian Training Awards 2014 Vocational Student of the Year said.

You come out with a qualification and three or four years experience under your belt.

I pretty much walked out of the classroom and straight into a job.

For VET graduates, the average fulltime salary was $57,100, National Centre for Vocational Education Research revealed.

Those likely to earn the most studied education ($73,200), engineering and related technologies ($61,700), natural and physical sciences ($59,200), health ($58,000), and management and commerce ($57,100).

Wexham said vocational education was also less expensive than a bachelor degree.

People criticise what an apprentice gets paid but the fact is they are getting paid and often theyve got a mentor as well. Thats quite different to what happens in universities, he said.

They also often start earlier and therefore are able to progress up the salary scale quicker than perhaps a graduate that is probably having trouble finding a job let alone a job that pays well.

National Skills Week runs until September 4.

Visit nationalskillsweek.com.au

Do you have a job for a first-time job seeker? Email this site and join our campaign.

Australian stock exchange opening delayed


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THE Australian share market may have foregone up to $3.5 billion in turnover after a series of technical issues and errors disrupted and ultimately halted trading on the first day of the week.

The ASX announced it would close the exchange at 3.37pm AEST on Monday with all shares only able to be traded for just 57 minutes.

The exchange operator initially delayed opening by an hour and a half until 11.30am AEST due a technical issue with a function that allows it to manage individual shares on its Nasdaq OMX equity trading platform.

The ASX then reported operational errors made it necessary to cancel all transactions made in a 43 second window during market pre-opening at 11.10am AEST. CommSec market analyst Steven Daghlian said due to the delays and uncertainty only about $1.2 billion worth of shares were traded during the day, which was 20 per cent of the share value traded the previous Monday.

Its been interrupted trade throughout the day so thats kept the value and volume very light today, he said.

From the ASX200 as an index, its just below 5,300 points still. So its been pretty quiet overall. If we look at the actual percentage moves so far were pretty flat and the market is still pretty close to its worst levels in 10 weeks.

This is week six now that the market is in the red. ASX was unable to comment on the cost of the delays or the loss in overall turnover, but said average daily turnover this year had been about $4.6 billion. CMC Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner doubted traders would have lost that much because there was no market moving news on Monday morning. There are two drivers of how business might be lost, one is how long the market was closed for and secondly is what news has happened during the period it has been closed, he told AAP.

Id say not a great deal has happened this morning, but well never know. Competitor exchange Chi-X also delayed its opening until 11:30 AEST, but was able to conduct normal trade for the rest of the day.

Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison said dealing with technical issues was a normal thing for companies in any advanced economy.

It is one of the issues of dealing in a 21st century economy. We are more reliant on these systems than we ever have been, he told reporters. The ASX said it would update the market about the issues before exchange opened on Tuesday morning.

At noon AEST the benchmark ASX/S&P200 was down 0.37 per cent, after the delayed start to trading.

Earlier, at 10.10am AEST, the broader All Ordinaries index was also unchanged at 5,396.7.

The ASX 24 the share price futures index contract was down seven points at 5,268, with 7,238 contracts traded.

OptionsXpress market analyst Ben Le Brun said that while the delay affected volumes, the overall markets movement lower was influenced by lower oil prices and weak leads from Wall Street.

The ASX delay has not had much to do with the overall price action except for being very inconvenient, he said.

Theres selling across the board with the energy, materials, healthcare and financials all lower. He said resource and energy stocks were under pressure because global oil prices had fallen on continued concerns about an oversupply, while other commodity prices were either lower or unchanged.

Investor concern in the lead-up to the Bank of Japan and the US Federal Reserves Federal Open Market Committees separate interest rate meetings later this week was also dragging on the market, he said.

We are in the hands of the central bank gods. On the local bourse, the banks were mostly lower at 12.02pm AEST, with ANZ bucking the trend to rise nine cents, or 0.34 per cent, to $26.45.

Westpac was down 33.5 cents, or 1.13 per cent, at $29.255, while National Australia Bank fell five cents, or 0.18 per cent, to $27.01 and Commonwealth Bank was down 30 cents, or 0.42 per cent, at $71.91.

The major oil and gas players were also mixed with Santos up 10 cents, or 2.87 per cent, at $3.58, while Woodside Petroleum fell 38 cents, or 1.39 per cent, to $27.05.

The two big miners, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, were lower, losing 0.7 per cent and 0.86 per cent, to $19.95 and $46.20, respectively.

Meanwhile, Newcrest Mining has agreed to sell its 50 per cent stake in the Hidden Valley joint venture, including a mine in Papua New Guinea, to its partner Harmony Gold Mining.

Shares in the gold miner were up 53 cents, or 2.51 per cent, to $21.65.