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Addressing skilled trades shortages key for NT Budget and upcoming election

Media release

Addressing skilled trades shortages key for NT Budget and upcoming election

Media release
“The upcoming Northern Territory budget presents a key opportunity for the Government to focus attention on measures to support increased housing supply and the delivery of much-needed homes in the Territory,” HIA Executive Director, Luis Espinoza said today.

“Ahead of this year’s election, HIA is calling on both parties to have housing as a key priority and in turn addressing the chronic shortage of skilled trades people in the building industry. 

“HIA has lodged its pre-budget submission today outlining key initiatives that could be taken to grow, retain and support the construction workforce that will in turn aid the delivery of more homes for Territorians.

“HIA has called on the Government to implement a multi-pronged approach to bring many more skilled tradespeople and other key workers into the industry,” said Mr Espinoza.

“HIA recognises the challenges brought about by the lack of skills won’t be fixed overnight but there are some measures that could be taken to help ease the labour shortage.

“For instance, too often doing a trade or going into construction is seen as a lesser career option and we are calling for a widespread education program to better promote the substantive career opportunities that exist in the building industry.

“HIA would like to see a long-term commitment to employer and apprentice subsidies to encourage more employers to take on apprentices and to support them through their apprenticeships.

“To incentivise apprentices to continue with their training, a ‘tool bonus’ or ‘tool rewards’ program could be introduced consisting of $1,000 tool bonus starter kit and a $500 supplement per year. This would help build up their tool kits and reward for year on year milestones through their apprenticeship.

“Our industry is keen to innovate and improve construction standards but to date this has resulted in more and more regulation being placed on building businesses. In addition, economic uncertainty leads to greater business risk for builders. 

“We are therefore seeking support and dedicated funding to enable businesses to upskill themselves and their workers on major reforms, support for regulatory change and business education.

“In conjunction with today’s submission, ahead of this year’s Territory election, HIA will be calling on an incoming Government to have a key agenda that supports the delivery of new housing and renovations.

To achieve this, HIA will call on an incoming Government to implement measures that:

  • support genuine planning reform;
  • reduce government levies and taxes on land and new homes;
  • increase land supply and offer infill opportunities;
  • stimulate home building;
  • attract new workers and train our skilled workforce;
  • provide certainty and consistency on regulatory changes;
  • boost transport and infrastructure expenditure;
  • remove red tape

"HIA will meet with all political parties in the lead up to the election to ensure political leaders understand the continued opportunity that exists in supporting residential building over the next term of government,“ concluded Mr Espinoza.

The Housing Industry Association (HIA’s) 2024-2025 NT Pre-Budget Submission can be downloaded here.

For more information please contact:

Luis Espinoza

Executive Director – Northern Territory

Simon Croft

Chief Executive - Industry & Policy
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