In good news for jobs, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) is allocating a record $26 million to its Annual Training Plan to create a sustainable environment for businesses to grow and meet the skills the industry needs.
So much has changed since the onset of COVID-19 in South Australia at the beginning of 2020. The Annual Training Plan for 2021-22 reflects a need to respond to unexpected challenges with a degree of agility never before experienced by anyone in the industry.
At its core, the Training Plan is focused on maintaining the success of government and industry initiatives to attract, train and retain skilled building and construction workers.
As a blueprint for the next 12 months, the CITB’s plan is designed to deliver a pathway for post-pandemic success by making more funding available that is easier to access for employers and workers.
Overall funding for the Training Plan has increased by $5m this financial year.
Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni said the construction industry has been a critical driver of investment, jobs and apprenticeships in South Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The fact that building approvals in South Australia are 57% higher than a year ago and approvals for private sector houses were 91% higher has been instrumental in delivering the lowest unemployment rate in SA in the last 9 years,” said Minister Pisoni.
“The construction industry is hungry for additional apprentices to help deliver the huge amount of work on its books, making the CITB’s record investment in building trades skills a timely investment in South Australia’s future.”
Minister for Education John Gardner welcomed the increased support for vocational education and training.
“This will help put South Australian students on the pathway to great jobs and fulfilling careers by giving them the skills employers want and need,” said Minister Gardner.
“The fastest growing job areas in our economy require employees with technical qualifications and the Marshall Liberal Government is reforming VET for school students to improve quality and better align student pathways with future careers.
“Industry immersion programs allow students to gain hands on experience in the building industry, giving young people the support to transition from school to a successful career in construction.”
CITB chief executive Andrew Fullgrabe said the organisation was “here to assist industry to respond rapidly and in a targeted, strategic way to the challenges brought about the ongoing threat of COVID-19”.
“The construction industry underpins the South Australian economy,” Mr Fullgrabe said. “The CITB and its plan plays a vital role; from attracting young people into careers through school-based apprenticeships with clear industry pathways, to helping workers take the next step in their careers, and backing businesses to grow and thrive.
“The Annual Training Plan strengthens the construction and building industry and the South Australian economy. This is about partnering with the South Australian Government and industry associations to ensure sound investment in the skills and training of our workforce.”
The ATP for 2021-22 includes extra support for the CITB’s flagship programs:
The VET for Schools program, doorways2construction: $1.275m
- Increased support for secondary students to experience industry immersion programs implemented through the new VET for School Students policy in partnership with the Department for Education.
- The ‘D2C’ program creates successful pathways for students into the construction industry and better employment outcomes through flexible apprenticeships and traineeships.
Apprentice Support: $19.4m
- The CITB exists to help industry develop world-class skills and support the next generation of apprentices to limit the impact of disruptions and challenges on jobs.
- Employers will continue to receive funding for their apprentices, including for on-the-job training and off-site trade training tuition.
- The Aboriginal Workforce Development Initiative provides for extra places for Indigenous apprentices and offers mentoring for employers, apprentices and families to ensure apprenticeships are successfully completed and long-term employment is achieved.
- A targeted program for non-school leavers supports the uptake and ongoing training of apprentices aged 21 or over.
Construction Skills Training: $5.6m
- Construction workers have access to subsidised training provided for more than 200 short courses offered by more than 40 training providers across South Australia, helping with career progression, increased productivity, job satisfaction and retention.
- The average cost of undertaking more than 100 courses has been halved and the range of courses available to more than 6000 apprentices broadened, including courses to upskill employees in work health and safety training, construction skills and management.
- Training providers are being supported to deliver more courses in regional areas with a doubling of the existing travel subsidy.
About the CITB: The CITB is a whole-of-industry led organisation that provides support to attract, train and retain South Australian building and construction workers by providing leadership in training and skills development. Learn more here.