Master Builders Backs Kickstart Apprentice Program
The Federal Government’s Kickstart Apprenticeship program announced today by Senator the Hon. Chris Evans is strongly supported by Master Builders Australia, the peak body for the building and construction industry.
The successful program will recommence in December, offering a $3,350 sign on bonus to small and medium businesses in the building and construction industry to take on new apprentices.
Chief Executive of Master Builders Australia, Wilhelm Harnisch, said the program will provide a much needed boost to the industry’s capability to take on young apprentices for 2013.
“The building and construction industry takes pride in being the largest employer of trade apprentices and is proactive in improving the apprentice completion rate, but faces challenges.
“The building industry has been experiencing a prolonged downturn in activity which has impeded its short term capacity to take on as many new apprentices as it would like.
“Kickstart will help the industry boost apprentice rates to train the next generation of tradies that are necessary to meet future workforce needs of the industry. Currently, this is also made difficult by a low apprentice completion rate. Close to 42 per cent of apprentices do not complete their trade in the building and construction industry.
“The value of building and construction work to be done in the next ten years is estimated to exceed $2.4 trillion and will require an additional workforce of 300,000. It is vital the industry works with government to improve the apprenticeship completions to tackle its future skills requirements.
“However, Master Builders is concerned by reports that the Government is planning to announce cuts to other apprenticeship programs, which may offset some of these benefits.
“In the meantime, Master Builders will work with builders and contractors to take advantage of the increased financial incentives to take on more building apprentices such as carpenters, bricklayers and painters over the December 2012 – February 2013 period,” Mr Harnisch said.