Peak body for the building and construction industry Master Builders Australia has welcomed the Albanese Government’s announcement of strengthening targeted support and services available for apprentices.
Chief executive officer Denita Wawn said with around half of apprentices failing to complete a trade apprenticeship at a time when the industry is facing critical skill shortages, this investment is a sensible step to give apprentices the best possible chance to remain in the industry.
“Construction is the backbone of the Australian economy, employing approximately 1.3 million people, providing infrastructure, commercial and community buildings, and homes for the growing population.
“Nearly 10 per cent of the 1.26 million people employed in construction are apprentices or trainees, the highest proportion of any industry in Australia.
“On 30 September 2022, 121,479 apprentices and trainees in-training were employed in the building and construction industry. This is three in every ten apprentice and trainees employed in Australia and significantly more than any other industry sector.
“With Australia’s population projected to grow by over 50 per cent between 2022 and 2060, reaching nearly 40 million people, the industry will require a significant workforce to undertake the necessary building and construction work.
“Work integrated learning pathways—including apprenticeships, traineeships and cadetships—are critical to ensuring the building and construction industry has a pipeline of skilled workers.
“The early stages of an apprenticeship are the most tenuous. Pastoral care can benefit apprentices, is a core element of the group training organisation model, and likely one of the main reasons that GTOs have higher completion rates than small employers.
“The construction industry attracts more male than female workers. Improving the attractiveness of the industry to women presents a massive opportunity to increase the pool of potential workers.
“Initiatives such as Master Builders Australia’s Women Building Australia program are supporting retention through mentoring, helping to dispel misperceptions about the industry, encouraging more women into construction, sharing the stories of women in the industry, and nurturing career progression and business resilience,” said Ms Wawn.
Last week, Master Builders Australia released its blueprint for future-proofing the building and construction industry’s workforce in wake of a shortage of half a million workers.
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