The federal government announced $68 million in funding toward a new skills training initiative, Alternative Pathways, aimed at providing more flexibility than traditional methods and better meeting the skill needs of the industry.
Master Builders Australia (MBA) “cautiously” welcomed the new program, stating that skills training was “one positive” of the budget.
“With an estimated 50,000 new entrants required in the building and construction industry each year over the next ten years to drive economic and jobs growth, the pilot alternative pathways program will assist this massive task,” said MBA chief executive Wilhelm Harnisch.
“Alternative pathways have merit but must not undermine the importance of the apprenticeship system or the need for students to demonstrate competency to an industry workplace standard before obtaining a trade qualification.”
Minister for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation Greg Combet stated on May 14 that targeted investment in training and skills will “better support” the needs of industry, ensuring they are in the best position to meet future workforce demands.
“Traditional apprenticeships have served the nation well and will continue to be a valuable way to obtain skills,” minister Emerson said.
“However, this program looks at alternative ways to deliver training so we can increase the number of ‘job ready’ Australians in areas of high demand.”