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Supplementary submission: Strategic Review of the Australian Apprenticeship Incentive System


Master Builders Australia (Master Builders) welcomes the opportunity to provide a further submission to the consultation on the Strategic Review of the Australian Apprenticeship Incentive System (the incentive system).

The Australian building and construction industry needs more workers.

With an ageing workforce and increasing demand for housing and infrastructure, Master Builders anticipates that more than half a million new workers must enter the sector by 2029. This is simply to maintain business as usual and replace the eight per cent of the workforce lost each year to natural attrition. To achieve the Housing Accord goal of 1.2 million new houses by 2029, and net zero by 2050, that number is even higher.

Apprentices are vital to the building and construction industry and the future of the workforce. However, there are chronic issues plaguing the labour force that cannot be solved through financial incentives alone. They can, however, be eased by a robust and well-functioning incentive system.

For employers, an incentive system is not about providing an incentive to hire per se. There is a desperate need for workers and employers across the country are actively recruiting.

For building and construction employers the incentive system is about mitigating risk and providing assistance with the investment they make in an apprentice. It is about implementing a safety net that allows them to invest time and money training an apprentice and giving them the skills to become a master of their trade. The incentive system releases pressure that often causes builders and other tradespeople to feel they must choose between getting the job done and teaching their apprentice thoroughly.

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