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‘Critical’ boost for apprentice sparkies

The Electrical Trades Union celebrates the introduction of national targets to boost the number of electrical apprentices.

The Electrical Trades Union celebrates the introduction of national targets to boost the number of electrical apprentices working on publicly funded projects.

The Australian Government’s target aims to boost the national apprentice training effort.

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

READ MORE: More support needed to attract apprentices: Master Builders

Under the Australian Skills Guarantee, which is now in effect, 10 per cent of all labour hours on major Commonwealth-funded construction and information/communication technology projects will need to be undertaken by apprentices and trainees.

“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,” ETU National Secretary, Michael Wright said

“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.”

Target details

The standard applies to projects with a total contract value of $10 million or more.

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

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