The Nationals WA motion to expand the Construction Training Fund (CTF) to help build the State’s skilled workforce was passed last week, with Upper House MPs voting 29 to 4 in favour of the amendment.
Member for the Agricultural Region Hon Martin Aldridge MLC moved the motion to boost the CTF by removing an exemption currently applied to the resources sector from contributing to the levy.
The CTF supports a wide range of initiatives aimed at ensuring we have a skilled and capable building and construction workforce including skills development programs, support for the employment of trainees and apprentices, entry level training, research and accreditation.
The amendment will ensure resource construction projects will contribute to the fund that will aid further training opportunities and build the skills of our local construction workforce.
“Boosting the Construction Training Fund will benefit all Western Australians whether you are building a new home, a new shopping centre or a young person looking to enter the industry,” Mr Aldridge said.
“The building and construction sector have contributed significantly to the fund and helped train many young West Australians.
Extending the levy to construction within the resources sector will ensure that the financial burden and training task is more equitably applied across industries.”
Recent data suggested WA would face a shortage of skilled workers in the next five years as the economy rebounded from the end of the mining construction boom.
“Western Australian workers should have access to training to capitalise on these employment opportunities,” he said.
“The amendment will assist with housing affordability, as well as having a skilled and responsive workforce to respond to building and construction demand including that in the resources sector.”
The Housing Industry Association (HIA) executive director John Gelavis said the HIA is extremely pleased to see this motion passed with such a strong majority, which clearly indicates that this is the right decision and the regulations must now be amended accordingly.
“HIA has been a long-standing advocate for the removal of this exemption and should now provide for a more equitable contribution from the mining and resource sector to training in WA,” Mr Gelavis said.
“Engineering construction projects are completed as part of resource investment works, and are often carried out by a contractor on behalf of the resources sector.
“The contribution from engineering construction projects in the resources sector will be vital in encouraging and improving skills development of tradespeople in the building and construction industry in our recovering economy.”
Mr Aldridge said The Nationals WA plan, if taken up by the government, will see the resource sector contributing towards the fund, with the beneficiary being all Western Australians including our school leavers looking for work and training opportunity.