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Red tape reduction boosts apprenticeships in Queensland

Red tape reduction boosts apprenticeships in Queensland

The process and regulations for organising apprenticeships in Queensland will become more simple.

Opportunities for apprenticeships in Queensland are forecast to increase after a new red tape reduction plan comes into action from July 1, 2014.

By rolling two existing policies into the single Queensland Government Building and Construction Training Policy, the process of organising apprenticeships and traineeships in Queensland should become significantly more simplified.

The new policy effectively replaces the Queensland Government Building and Construction Contracts Structured Training Policy and the Indigenous Employment Policy for Queensland Government Building and Construction Projects.

“This amalgamation will streamline compliance and reporting requirements and supports the Newman Government’s pledge to create 10,000 additional apprenticeships over six years,” Education, Training and Employment Minister John-Paul Langbroek said in a January 16 media release.

The new policy involves regulating government construction projects to ensure opportunities are being offered to new apprentices and trainees. Additionally, existing workers within the construction industry will also be given access to apprenticeship programs to support up-skilling and retraining.

“On government building projects worth $500,000 or more, and civil construction projects worth at least $3 million, a minimum of 10 per cent of labour hours must be undertaken by new apprentices or trainees,” Mr Langbroek said.

In addition to offering increased opportunities for apprenticeships and traineeships, the new policy will also encourage significant growth in Indigenous employment rates.

Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander workers, apprentices and trainees will be prioritised for roles working on local projects.

Indigenous Australians will also receive priority employment on all projects across Queensland that are overseen by the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs.

“There is also a requirement for contractor to work with Indigenous councils to maximise employment, training and business supply outcomes,” Mr Langbroek said.

This new policy will work together with the government’s $10 million School to Trade Pathway program that was introduced as part of the “Great Skills. Real Opportunities.” action plan.

“We are working hard to reform further education and training in Queensland and this policy will give apprentices and ‘tradies’ greater flexibility and better outcomes by working on government building and construction projects,” Mr Langbroek said.

Currently key stakeholders, such as construction industry leaders and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander councils, are being consulted on protocol and procedures that will ensure a smooth transition into this policy on July 1 this year.

By Leanne de Toerkenczy, Public Relations Coordinator

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