The expansion of the number of occupations covered by the Australian Apprenticeship Priority List is welcome news to builders around the country says Master Builders Acting CEO Shaun Schmitke.
The list has been expanded from 77 to 111. This means more apprentices and their employers can access support through the Australian Apprenticeship Incentive System which includes direct payments to apprentices and a wage subsidy for employers.
“There’s been an addition of eight new occupations in building and construction added to the list taking it to 47 in total.
“The Federal Government has heard the cries of builders in recent months who have been grappling with labour shortages.
“Master Builders has long called for targeted efforts to incentivise the retention and completion rates of apprentices and today’s announcement is an active step in tackling low completion rates.
“Wage subsidies can be the difference between choosing to hire or not hire an apprentice. Eligible employers will be able to access a 10 per cent reimbursement of the first and second year apprentice wages and a five per cent reimbursement of third year wages.
“Apprentice payments incentivise them to stay in their training and assist with cost of living pressures. Eligible building and construction apprentices will receive $5,000 in four payments during their apprenticeships,” Mr Schmitke said.
The updated list also identifies the apprenticeship pathways eligible for the Government’s New Energy Apprentice Support Payment, of which 28 occupations are relevant to the building and construction industry. The payment provides eligible apprentices with five $2,000 payments over the course of their apprenticeship.
“The industry will need around 470,000 new workers to offset an ageing population and meet demand for housing over the next few years and replace workers that leave the industry.
“This is a meaningful step and we hope to see more efforts around improving recruitment to trades,” Mr Schmitke said.
Master Builders Australia recently lodged submissions on the Australian Skills Guarantee and Apprenticeship Support Services highlight the multi-levered approach that will be required to sustainably grow the workforce.
National Director, Media & Public Affairs
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