Current at: 22 February 2006
The Housing Industry Association has just celebrated its Group Apprenticeship Scheme reaching 1000 apprentices – proof it is a significant contributor to the Federal Government’s strategy to overcome skill shortages.
Managing Director Ron Silberberg said the figure is a milestone for HIA, the peak body representing the home building industry in
. “The scheme began in NSW in 1984, and has grown to become an important contributor to the future health of our industry and of the Australian economy in general,” he said.
“It has spread dramatically after its recent introduction in
and when registration formalities are completed in
, we will have full coverage apart from the
“While it is a national scheme, its success lies in the work put in by regional officers on the ground. It is a people-based system where the needs of every apprentice and every host employer are considered and catered for.”
Under the Group Apprenticeship Scheme, HIA is the legal employer of the apprentices, with individuals placed with 650 ‘host trainers’ – qualified builders and other tradespeople – to receive on-the-job instruction. HIA is responsible for the apprentices’ pay, insurance and superannuation, and receives a fee from the employer for these services.
The scheme benefits both the host trainers, who do not have to spend valuable time advertising and interviewing to find the right person and can get on with running their businesses, and the apprentices who, through HIA, have guarantees of secure employment.
Dr Silberberg said HIA had recently launched the Youth Build foundation which works with schools, parents and local businesses to establish dedicated facilities for training students within the school environment.
“Put together, Youth Build and the Group Apprenticeship Scheme provide a smooth, painless transition from school to working life,” he said.
“It is a tribute to the care that has gone into the construction of these two parallel initiatives that while other group apprenticeship schemes are in difficulties or even closing down, HIA’s is flourishing.”