Amidst the global uncertainty of the past year, opportunities have arisen that will have positive knock-on effects for the construction and property industry for a long time to come.
One opportunity wholeheartedly embraced at Pindan is the up-skilling of our staff of the future.
For the first time in five years, we have more than a dozen trainees on our books. In recent months, we’ve filled four new traineeship positions and signed up two current staff to new traineeships. We now have a total of 13 trainees on board, of which 11 are on registered Training Contracts.
Our trainees, aged between 17 and 35; six of them women, two Aboriginal; are based both in Perth and throughout WA’s regional areas. Roles include site supervisor, estimators, receptionist, information technology support officer, scheduler and HSE advisor.
This record number of trainees is good news when you consider statistics show that from 2016 to 2020, construction trades apprenticeships declined by 21.5 percent.* Our current high trainee numbers are in large part thanks to the Federal Government's Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements (BAC) program, which makes employers eligible for 50 per cent of the wages for a new or recommencing apprentice or trainee for the period up to 30 September 2021, up to $7,000 per quarter.
Part of the COVID-19 recovery plan, this is an incredibly important government initiative that will help address the skills shortage we’ve been experiencing in the construction sector for some time. The skills shortage in all trades is linked to an ageing workforce and reduced funding, amongst other issues, and the shortage has been exacerbated by COVID-19 restrictions impacting migration.
These traineeships will up-skill staff and help shore up the future of our sector by creating new job opportunities and help provide attractive career paths for young people who want to pursue a trade. This is fantastic news for the industry, which has a projected annual growth rate of 2.4 percent over the next five years and generates more than $360 billion in revenue, according to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee.
With 100,000 Boosting Apprenticeship Commencement subsidies available, the Federal Government should be commended for supporting our sector, a vital cog in the Australian economy that delivers important projects for the whole community.