Frank’s explanation of Apprenticeships – history:

In the case of Australia, the length of the apprenticeship period reduced to four years around the mid 1960s. However, since that period, not much has progressed in the way of improving competency-based learning.

If we go back 20-25 years ago, the employer used to physically spend the time to train the apprentice/trainee – this was constantly happening throughout the duration of the apprenticeship. Now, without businesses and large corporations to provide steady high-quality products and services that are useful by society in the long-term, the foundations of our society begin to erode, and eventually crumble. 

This is what happens when the pursuit of quality takes a back seat to profit. 
It is this strong profit motivation that has taken the focus away from producing highly competent professionals and generally high-quality individuals, to steadily cutting away at the foundations of good service-providing businesses (which are highly skilled professionals and artisans) in an effort to improve the businesses’ profit margins. 

Due to this uncompromising focus, we are now (and have been for a long time) in the throes of a skills shortage across a number of industrys .