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Apprentice targets an important step forward

Electrical Trades Union 2 mins read

The Albanese Government’s introduction of national targets to boost the number of electrical apprentices working on publicly funded projects is a critical boost to the national training effort, the Electrical Trades Union said today.


According to Jobs and Skills Australia, the nation needs an additional 32,000 electricians by 2030, and another 85,000 by 2050.


Under the Australian Skills Guarantee, which is now in effect, 10% of all labour hours on major Commonwealth-funded construction and information/communication technology projects will need to be undertaken by apprentices and trainees. The standard applies to projects with a total contract value of $10 million or more.


Other targets include a minimum of 6% of all apprentice/trainee labour hours to be undertaken by women and a minimum of 4% of trade apprentice/trainee labour hours to be undertaken by women.

The targets for women on Commonwealth-funded major construction projects will increase annually to 2030.


Flagship construction projects over $100 million will also be required to propose and meet more ambitious targets for women apprentices and develop a Gender Equality Action Plan outlining how they will be achieved.


The targets will apply to major social and affordable housing projects under the National Housing Accord, venue infrastructure projects for the 2032 Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic Games, and road and rail infrastructure projects under the Federation Funding Agreement Schedule.


“After a decade of abject neglect under the Liberals, Australia is now making up for lost time to train the electrical and energy workers we need for the energy transition,” ETU National Secretary, Michael Wright said. “These targets are critical to shaping the workforce we so desperately need. It is especially welcome to see the Government using its own spending power to get more women into skilled trades. 


“With the right planning and forethought, the energy transition can usher in a new period of prosperity for Australia as we enjoy cheap, bountiful, clean energy, and deliver solid, dependable careers to tens of thousands of working Australians. 


“It is reassuring to see the Government not only grapple seriously with this challenge but also identify the huge opportunity to improve Australia’s economy by investing in the electrical workforce.


“Policies like this will help us meet our net zero targets while creating tens of thousands of new jobs and opportunities for Australians."


Contact: Nick Lucchinelli 0422 229 032

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