WA govt casts safety net for construction apprentices

The current trend of employers having to reduce the number of apprentices they are hosting and the number of training hours they allow has prompted the WA state government to conduct an initiative to assist apprentices whose training is at risk.State Treasurer Troy Buswell said the impact of the current downturn on building and construction activity had serious consequences, not only in the short term but also for the long term.“Once construction activity picks up, there could be a shortage of trained labour and a significant time lag for the training of new apprentices,” he said. Buswell said the state government had asked construction industry training organisations to submit lists of apprentices that had been unemployed, were under-employed or faced the prospect of unemployment due to the current downturn in the economy.“We will provide opportunities for at least 80 additional building trade apprentice positions, including at least 60 in the metropolitan area and a further 20 in the regions,” he said. This latest initiative – called Building the Education Revolution – follows an announcement last week from Training Minister Peter Collier, who said group training organisations that took on apprentices who had lost their jobs in the economic downturn would be eligible for payments of up to $1800 from the state government.

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