In November last year, I informed the House of an ambitious project launched in my home city of the Gold Coast called the GC101 campaign. The campaign set out to sign up 101 local school leavers as apprentices in just seven weeks. As the local federal member and the Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills I was proud to be part of this important campaign. It was coordinated by Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider BUSY At Work, who worked with local businesses and employers, encouraging them to take on a new apprentice.
I am pleased to report to the House that the GC101 campaign was a great success. One hundred and two local people have commenced apprenticeships that will give them the skills they need to secure a job and a rewarding career.
In fact, around nine out of 10 people who complete an apprenticeship immediately gain full-time employment. On top of the 102 apprenticeships, the GC101 campaign saw 270 students enrol in school-based apprenticeships. I congratulate all those involved in the GC101 campaign who contributed to its success, especially those businesses and employers who took on an apprentice for the first time or hired a new apprentice for the first time in many years.
The Turnbull government's message to employers is that an apprentice is an investment to help you grow your business, and, as a result of GC101 campaign, many businesses have put themselves in a stronger position. Apart from helping tackle issues of youth unemployment, which fell nearly 2.5 per cent on the Gold Coast to 7.7 per cent in the latest ABS figures, the GC101 campaign helped promote the importance of, and the many options available through, apprenticeships.
I am pleased to inform the House that, following the success of GC101, similar campaigns are now underway in New South Wales and Victoria. I congratulate the member for Gilmore, Ann Sudmalis, and the member for Dunkley, Chris Crewther, who are boosting apprenticeship numbers in their electorates.
The Gilmore Apprenticeship Challenge was launched on 18 January, with a target of 52 new apprenticeships. The local member, Ann Sudmalis, has done an outstanding job promoting and supporting this challenge.
I was honoured to join the member for Dunkley for the launch of his campaign just a fortnight or so ago. Some apprentices have already signed up to that campaign, and their target is 100 in 60 days.
These apprenticeship drives are a great example of the Turnbull government achieving better outcomes by simply taking a different approach—an approach that empowers local businesses with the knowledge and connections required to take on an apprentice. Giving the outstanding success of these campaigns, I am happy to work to roll this out in a nationwide capacity.