Today, peak Australian electrical industry body, the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA), welcomed the commitment by the Australian Government of $281 million for additional tax free payments to encourage apprentices in critical trades to complete their qualifications.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard confirmed on Friday 6 May 2011 that the funding would be included in the 2011 Budget.
NECA chief executive officer, Mr James Tinslay, said businesses in the electrical industry currently invest heavily in training apprentices but non-completion is a factor that can prevent electrical contractors from taking on more apprentices.
“Many electrical contractors invest huge amounts of time, resources and money throughout a standard four-year apprenticeship. However, it is damaging to businesses when an apprentice decides not to complete their training,” Mr Tinslay said.
“It can be hard for some businesses to take on a new apprentice if they have not had a positive experience or a return on their training investment from an apprentice that decides to cut short their training.
“The financial incentives offered by the Australian Government to help with completion rates are very much welcomed by NECA and our electrical contractor members across Australia.”
NECA is also calling for further incentives for business to take on new apprentices to help address the skill shortage in the industry.
“The financial incentives for apprentices to complete their training are a step in the right direction but we need more support for the businesses that actually employ and train the apprentices,” Mr Tinslay said.
“An investment in this area will allow more businesses to take on apprentices and this will in turn help address skill shortages. We need to support both businesses and apprentices and I hope this has been considered in the 2011 Budget.”
National Electrical and Communications Association - NECA
NECA is the peak industry body representing the interests of electrical and communications contractors Australia-wide.
Dominic Feenan - Media and Communications Manager
P: 02 9439 8523
M: 0457 767 328