Bonus incentive to boost building apprentices
Tradies who take on a new apprentice before the end of February will get a bonus $3350 from the commonwealth.
The government hopes the move will bring an extra 21,000 construction apprentices into the workforce over the next three months.
This should boost the number of qualified workers in the industry ahead of a predicted upturn in construction in 2014 and 2015, Skills Minister Chris Evans said on Tuesday.
The Kickstart program is also timed to encourage employers to take on school leavers.
Meanwhile, private enterprise is setting up a new program to help plumbing apprentices stay the course.
About 100 apprentices will be offered the chance to take part in e-mentoring from March if Rheem and Campbell Page can recruit 20 mentors for their pilot program.
The water heater manufacturer was looking for a way to help out the plumbing industry when it discovered only about 40-50 per cent of trainees completed their apprenticeship, Rheem spokesman Gareth Jennings told reporters.
A big part of it was the young apprentices didn’t know what to expect from their employers, so the mentors will be there to guide them through challenges.
“It can range from something as simple as the boss has asked you to be at a job at what you’d consider to be too early in the morning … through to you may have apprentices who have been caught speeding and they’ve got to go to court,” Jennings said.
“We need people to give some assurance that it’s just part of the rich fabric of life.
“And to tell them that whilst it might be tough going, if they hang in there it’s going to be worthwhile.”
The company is looking for people with industry experience — whether retired plumbers or gas fitters, TAFE teachers, or others willing to help out — to spend a couple of hours a week on the online program.