Addressing skills shortages remains a top priority for the Australian government, after it announced an initiative to boost construction apprenticeship numbers across the country.
Announcing the scheme last week (October 24), federal minister for skills senator Chris Evans said the Kickstart initiative will triple the monetary incentives offered to employers who take on apprentices in construction trades.
"The construction sector employs nearly a million Australians and this boost to traditional trades is needed because conditions in the housing sector are set to improve in 2014 to 2015," Mr Evans said.
"This will see the demand for construction skills grow again and it is important that we start training Australians in those skills now."
While employers will benefit from increased financial incentives, trainee tradies will also receive more apprentice support in a bid to improve completion rates.
The Kickstart scheme will also include mentoring programs to provide vital assistance to apprentices who are struggling with their courses.
"This will provide a comprehensive and intensive mentoring support in the first 12 months of an apprenticeship, when apprentices are traditionally most at risk of dropping out," Mr Evan said of the mentoring program, which will be run in conjunction with the Housing Industry Association.