New industry-backed pilot program to boost civil construction skills

The State Government today announced a new four-year pilot program to increase the number and capability of new workers entering the civil construction industry, this will also help meet increasing industry demand for skilled workers.

Specific civil construction qualifications in WA are changing from a traineeship to an apprenticeship, extending the duration of training from 24 to 36 months with the aim of improving skills and employment opportunities.  This change will result in the State’s first cohort of civil construction apprentices, who will receive a trade certificate on completion of their Certificate III qualification.

To ensure that employers and apprentices are not disadvantaged by the transition to the new qualifications, the $5.99 million pilot program will cover the wage gap created by the change. This will be funded by the Construction Training Fund (CTF) and has been developed in conjunction with the Civil Contractors Federation WA and the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union.

A wage subsidy of up to $14,000 will be provided to employers who engage junior apprentices (under the age of 21) and wage gap funding will be provided for 50 directly employed mature-age civil construction apprenticeships.  The CTF’s existing base grant, currently offered to employers who hire an apprentice, has been increased from $8,000 to $10,000.

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