One of the main issues with the skills building in the trades is the apprenticeship model. While it is an absolute necessity in terms of safety and hands on skill building in an area that this is essential, apprentices are both expensive for small businesses and highly paid, and with such a high demand steps must be taken for their promotion in a monetary sense. Not doing so leaves a strain on the industry to perform, work and be educators with little incentive, putting pressure on an already strained industry.
In order to alleviate some of this industry strain and offer incentive to the trades, the Australian Bricklayer’s association are offering major inducements. This is an area deemed as “The Silver Spade” due to its growth in salary over the years. Bricklayers Association “Become a Bricklayer” breaks down the different state incentives and offers that are apparent to those who take on apprentices in the industry, and the apprentices themselves.
The federal and state government sponsor apprentice incentives for all of the states, with the added assistance of the ABBTF.
The first initiative covered in WA is the “Tools for your trade initiative”. This involves five installment payments from the federal government over the course of a Trade Certificate III or IV qualification. The installations of payment are $800 at 3 months, $1,000 at both one and two years, $1,200 after three years and a finishing installment of $1,500 at the completion of the apprenticeship.
This is on top of the ABBTF $250 apprentice tool voucher, and Apprentice Regional Travel Support if an apprentice lives more than 100 km away from their place of employment. As well as these offers, if an apprentice is over the age of 25 they are issued an added federal government bonus of $7,800 in their first year and $5,200 in their second year.
All of these bonuses come in excess of $10,000, a huge boost to the promotion of WA industry.
For WA, the employer incentive is a maximum total subsidy of $21,000.
Queensland and New South Wales (Inclusive of the Australian Capital Territory)
Similarly with WA, Queensland bricklayer apprentices include the $5,500 federal government Tools for your Trade incentive, Support for Adult Apprentices payment and ABBTF Apprentice Regional Travel Support.
In addition to these bonuses QLD tradesmen have added incentives from their state government.
For employers, the state subsidy upon taking on an apprentice is $12,000.
New South Wales holds the same incentives as QLD with the added bonus of further state government monetary endorsements.
As with QLD, the NSW employer inducement is in the form of a $12,000 subsidy payment.
Victorian apprentices are able to receive funding from the Tools for your Trade Initiative, Support for Adult Apprentices Apprentice and Regional Travel Support. They are also offered added bonuses of the state governments Vic Apprenticeship trade bonus of two installments of $250 over 12 months and the added incentives offered through the Master Builders Association.
The Victorian ABBFT Mature Age Apprentice Support offer two different incentive opportunities both of which are eligible for those over the age 23 and add up to bonuses of $2,000.
Victorian employers subsidy incentives reach a total of $10,000.
South Australia and Tasmania
SA and Tasmania simply offer the standard Tools for your trade bonus, Support for Adult Apprentices and state government support. Although these incentives may be limited in comparison to other states, the employer’s incentive is the large-scale subsidy of $21,400 for SA and $18,000 in Tasmania.
Bricklayer’s apprentices in all states were also able to qualify for additional Centrelink inducements, dependent upon their circumstances.
The inducement to the industry is imperative as much as it is momentous. This promotion throughout the industry can only mean further productivity in an area that truly needs it.