More than 1 in every 10 Austalians work in the building and construction industry - that's over 1.1 million people directly employed.

Our industry provides more full time jobs than any other sector of the economy and average wages easily exceed $100,000 per year. We also train more than half tomorrow's tradies and employ over 80,000 and apprentices every year. 

300,000 in 5 years

Our biggest challenge is that we are going to need to about 300,000 new skilled workers over the next five years. Master Builders believes that by giving building and construction a greater say, we can meet this target, however the Government must partner with industry to deliver better skills solutions and boost job outcomes by trusting building and construction employers and funding programs driven by industry that we know will work. 

The next Federal Government must: 

  • Promise to deliver 300,000 skilled and job-ready building and construction workers over the next 5 years. 
  • Sustainable funding for not-for-profit vocational education and employment services that utilise industry experience and knowledge to give more people with skills a greater chance of getting a job. 
  • Restore funding to support employers to take on more apprentices. 
  • Help industry run a range of skills programs, including those that cater to school age children and their parents, upskill current workers and harness the experience of tradies at the end of their 'on site' careers. 
  • Implement solutions that we know work well, such as school based pre-apprenticeship programs that help people be job ready and productive right from day one. 

Reform The VET System To Make It Clear And Simple

The 'shared' nature of Vocational Education and Training (VET) between levels of government has turned it an ineffective and complex quagmire that is confusing to parents and young people. There are different and often competing programs being rolled-out all around the country but there is no strategic, long term thinking that actually aims to provide long-term solutions. The next Federal Government must: 

  • Be a leader in driving a sustained and meaningful change to the VET system that removes the stifling red-tape, avoids duplication and fixes the complex skills framework development process. 
  • Recognise that industry based RTOs meet and often exceed TAFE standards and have a demonstrated history in producing skilled and job-ready workers by guaranteeing fair funding for these organisations from all levels of government. 

Raise The Profile Of A Trades Career

For too long a vocational and trades career has been seen as inferior to a university degree. Combined with a complex VET system, people either don't know how rewarding a trades career can be and, if they do, it's simply too hard for many parents and students to know where to go. The next Federal Government must: 

  • Make a sustained and strategic effort to raise the profile of VET and change community perceptions so that people understand that a trades career is actually a better option than the conventional university path. 
  • Work with industry to change the perceptions of teachers and parents about the benefits of vocational education and boost awareness of the rewards associated with a career in building and construction - high wages, stable full-time employment and skills for life. 

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