Under the Government's Kickstart plan, additional incentives of $3,350 will be available to the employers (small and medium enterprises only) of new apprentices commencing an apprenticeship in construction related occupations that appear on the National Skills Needs List (NSNL).
According to HIA Managing Director, Shane Goodwin:
"The Government is to be applauded for its decision to introduce this kick-start bonus as it will encourage building businesses to take on new apprentices over the New Year period.
"These new incentives are also timely as the residential construction industry is currently struggling, with home building activity recording its lowest levels for decades. Apprentice employment unfortunately is the first to suffer when business confidence is down.
"Yet although market conditions are currently tough, there remains a chronic undersupply of housing across Australia and a structural shortage of skilled tradespeople. It is important that when building activity picks up that there is sufficient workforce to deliver to the community the quantity of housing required, at the quality demanded", he said.
HIA also supports the fact the additional payments will be made in two instalments; $850 paid at six months from commencement and $2,500 paid at 12 months from commencement.
"Building businesses are cash flow driven and the Government has importantly recognised that ongoing incentives are required to employers across the payment cycle", said Mr Goodwin.