School-based apprenticeships in Queensland have been given a much-needed boost through the federal government’s Kickstart initiative.
This is according to John McMackin, a registered builder on the Gold Coast for over 20 years, who told the Queensland Times that the region’s construction industry will benefit greatly from the scheme.
Kickstart offers an additional $3,350 of financial incentives to employers who take on trainees, meaning companies receive a minimum of $7,350 over the course of an apprenticeship.
Federal minister for skills Chris Evans recently described the funding as vital for filling the skills gap in the construction sector.
Mr McMackin’s 15-year-old son Zac has started working for his father once a week in an effort to achieve a Certificate III in carpentry.
Zac will complete Year 11 and 12 at Unity College while training for his apprenticeship and his father admitted it can be difficult for young people to get employment opportunities.
“The incentive was a surprise to me, but it worked out that we were able to access it, so the timing was actually perfect,” John stated.
“And I’m getting to the age now where the knowledge I have I may as well pass on.”
He added that there are plenty of benefits for employers looking to offer a school-based apprenticeship, including cost-effective labour and high performance levels from trainees that are eager to learn.