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Boosting apprentice numbers must be the key focus of review

Media release

Boosting apprentice numbers must be the key focus of review

Media release
“The number of new apprentices entering the building industry will not be sufficient to fill the labour supply gap that will prevent the industry reaching the Housing Accord’s target of building 1.2 million new homes over the next five years,” HIA Executive Director, Future Workforce, Geordan Murray said today.

HIA recently made a substantial submission to the Apprenticeship Incentive System Review, and within it is a number of recommendations that should be closely considered.

“Trade apprenticeships are the gateway into a wide range of careers in the construction industry. 

“The government’s Strategic Review of the Apprenticeship Incentive System must look at all levers to significantly boost the number of new apprentices.

“The apprenticeship incentive system should provide a holistic approach to supporting apprentices on their journey to become fully qualified trades people. These should include financial and non-financial supports.

“Industry based mentoring and career advice, programs to drive cultural change, and linking incentives to apprentice experience and wages, are measurable ways forward. 

“Financial support for the businesses who are creating the employment and training opportunities for apprentices are also important. 

“The investment and time that employers make in training apprentices is significant. To increase the capacity of the construction industry’s workforce we need more employers who are willing to make that investment. 

“We cannot train more apprentices without employers. Easing the cost of employing and training apprentices will encourage more businesses to create more training opportunities.

“The findings of the Review will play a vital role in guiding the Government as it works to reform the complex web of supports for apprenticeships. 

“Importantly, we would like to see a long-term commitment on the funding arrangements for employers and apprentices. A range of schemes have come and gone over recent years and the lack of continuity has eroded confidence in the system. 

“HIA strongly encourages the government to adopt the practical and tangible measures identified in our submission that will enhance the lives for apprentices and their employers as well as growing the industry’s workforce. 

“The shortage of skilled trades workers is one of the top issues currently facing the building industry in Australia. If the Government is fully committed to reaching the goal of building 1.2 million homes, then no stone should be left unturned to address skills shortages,” concluded Mr Murray. 

Please view HIA’s submission in full. 

For more information please contact:

Geordan Murray

Executive Director – Future Workforce

Simon Croft

Chief Executive - Industry & Policy
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