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Master Builders welcomes apprenticeship review


19 February 2024

Master Builders Australia welcomes the Albanese Government’s announcement of a strategic review into the Australian apprenticeships incentives system.

CEO Denita Wawn said the apprenticeship system is in desperate need of review.

“The building and construction workforce is facing significant shortages. Without an increase in apprenticeship starts and completions, the industry will not be able to keep up with demand in coming years.

“Master Builders estimates that we need to attract around half a million new workers over the next five years to deliver on much needed housing and infrastructure.”

In the year to June 2023, 23,297 building and construction apprenticeships were completed with a further 41,552 apprentices and trainees commencing. At the end of June 2023, 122,677 building and construction industry apprentices were in training.

“It is vital that incentives to bring people into this industry actually provide the value they are looking for and provide appropriate support for employers.

“Government must increase the number and value of apprentice wage subsidies in building and construction for both apprentices and their employers. The cost of taking on an apprentice, especially in that first year of training, is huge.”

In its 2024-25 pre-budget submission, Master Builders has called for a 30 per cent subsidy in the first year of an apprenticeship and 10 per cent in the years thereafter – paid to the employer.

“A subsidy program like that means more builders – who are already time poor and under the pump – can justify taking on an apprentice and taking time to show them the ropes.

“Master Builders also called for financial incentives to assist with the increasing cost of living and costs associated with doing an apprenticeship – like tools, vehicles and training materials – that would be paid to the apprentice.

“Financial incentives and subsidies are a fantastic start to bringing more people to building and construction apprenticeships; but the program needs to go further. It must help young people – and those who guide them – see what a real career in this industry can look like in 2024 and beyond.

“The myth that a VET-based career is subpar to a higher education-based career must be dispelled.

“Master Builders looks forward to consulting with Minister O’Connor, the Hon. Justice Iain Ross AO and Ms Lisa Paul AO on this hugely important issue,” Ms Wawn said.

Media contact: Dee Zegarac, National Director, Media & Public Affairs

0400 493 071 |

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