The Kickstart bonus offers a two stage payment totalling $3,350 for small to medium sized employers and group training organisations who engage a new apprentice. The incentive is available for most construction trades.
Chief Executive of Master Builders Australia, Wilhelm Harnisch, urged employers in the industry to take advantage of the renewal of the scheme, which runs until 28 February 2013.
"After the success of the first Kickstart bonus in 2009-10, its return provides a welcome boost for the industry, which is caught in a prolonged period of downturn. The weak conditions have resulted in construction apprenticeship commencements falling by an alarming 29 per cent in a year.
"Kickstart is a timely and welcome Federal Government incentive to help the building and construction industry continue to train the large number of building trade professionals required over the next decade.
"Unless addressed quickly, the current decline in apprenticeship numbers will inevitably lead to inflationary pressures and blow-outs in project times as industry activity returns to normal levels over the coming years," Mr Harnisch said.
The return of the Kickstart bonus, combined with other initiatives such as Master Builders' Construction Apprenticeship Mentoring Scheme (CAMS), will help will help meet the industry's future demand for skilled jobs of 35,000 new entrants on average per year.
"Kickstart will serve as a catalyst for engaging up to 21,000 new apprentices, while CAMS will help guide apprentices through the challenges they face during training and onto a rewarding career in the building and construction industry," Mr Harnisch said.
CAMS offers a range of free national services to construction apprentices and employers. These include phone, email and face-to-face advice, online resources and a program to match apprentices to industry volunteer mentors for ongoing one-on-one support.
For detailed eligibility and other Kickstart program requirements, employers should contact their local Australian Apprenticeship Centre or local Master Builders office.
For more information about the Construction Apprenticeship Mentoring Scheme, visit www.masterbuilders.com.au/cams or email firstname.lastname@example.org