Earthmoving News, Jobs & Training

Federal government announces $90.6 million for training

In a pre-Budget announcement, 20,000 additional free training places for construction apprentices will be funded over the next year

In an announcement ahead of next week’s 2024–25 federal Budget, $90.6 million has been promised by the federal government to boost the number of skilled workers in the construction and housing sector.

Minister for housing Julie Collins says the funding is necessary in order to address the national skills gap and increase housing supply.

“This Budget continues to remove cost barriers to education and training, and incentivise Australians to train in areas the economy needs them most, with $88.8 million for 20,000 additional fee‑free TAFE training places to increase the pipeline of workers for construction and housing,” Collins says.

The Budget will also include $1.8 million to streamline skills assessments for around 1,900 potential migrants from countries with comparable qualifications who want to work in Australia’s construction and housing sector, and prioritise the processing of around 2,600 Trades Recognition Australia skills assessments in targeted occupations.

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“The announcement of fee-free TAFE and VET places rightfully recognises the role of not-for-profit industry-led registered training organisations in training the next generation of tradies,” Master Builders Australia CEO Denita Wawn says.

“It’s now up to state and territory governments to ensure industry-run RTOs are held on equal footing with TAFE.

“The investment into prioritising and streamlining skills assessments for potential migrants and those already in the country is welcome news.

“For many migrants, it is simply too hard to have their professional capacity recognised to work in a trade in Australia, and they are instead in roles that present fewer hurdles to obtain.

“The Parkinson Migration Review found skills assessments or qualification recognition can take up to 18 months and cost nearly $10,000; time and money people simply don’t have in this economic climate.”

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