Globally, we are undergoing a period if skills shortage. There has been an enormous government commitment to skill building in all areas, with $147 billion being dedicated to enhance and, in some cases, enable skill building. It is, however, in the construction industry that the lack of skilled workers needed is too great for the country to continue without basic support and incentives. Tragic natural disaster, as well a growth in university intake, the construction industry is seeing more demand that it can cater for.
In a recent 2011 budget release, the federal government has promised to commit focus and a new skills building initiative, specifically aimed at the construction industry.
$556 million of the $3 billion budget will be allocated to skills building and promotion initiatives. The Australian reports that an extra 130,000 plus positions will be made available over the next four years due to the monetary boost.
A portion of the $556 million funding will then be split into two different sections to cater to two particular objectives. The first will be a $200 million will be used for the support of apprenticeships, in terms of boosting their support systems and education. This will in turn insure I higher rate of apprenticeship completions.
A $100 million section of the funds will be allocated to what the Australian has labeled as “accelerated learning”. As the name suggests, this is the process of completing apprenticeships and skill building with a focus on skill level rather than service time.
What the money aims to do is allow for more industry incentive. As proven with the bricklayers’ incentive before it, monetary and support incentives are an effective promotion of the trades.
The Australian goes on to suggest that the Treasury forecasts a growth in labour wages of approximately 4%. This comes at a time when the industry is in great demand, with further growth predicted for the following year at 4.25%.
There has been a great emphasis of mentoring as apart of this initiative. Enlisting apprentices is not the problem. It’s getting them to stay on and finish their time. This could be due to a number of reasons, two of which have been the focus of the monetary incentive. The first being low wages in the first few years, and the second which is added support in the form of 300 extra mentors to encourage completion of nearly 40,000 apprenticeships.
With these incentives the government has re-enforced its commitment to a sector that is so important to the well being of this country.