INDUSTRY LED SKILLS TRAINING REFORM WELCOMED BY BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION BODY

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Updated: December 10, 2012

Queensland’s peak support body for the building and construction industry, Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ), has endorsed an industry led training reform which will help ensure Queensland’s construction industry has the workers it needs to build Queensland’s future.

CSQ Chief Executive Officer, Mr Brett Shimming, welcomed the state government’s response to recommendations made by the Queensland Skills and Training Taskforce, in particular its commitment to rejuvenate how the state engages industry and introduce initiatives that will provide training that is more flexible and responsive to industry needs.

“The construction industry is Queensland’s third largest employer and is at the centre of all growth and any industry developments. Initiatives that promote an open and competitive vocational education training market will help the industry to better prepare for future skills demands,” Mr Schimming said.

The government’s response to the taskforce recommendations includes greater investment in state training infrastructure and $86 million to commence 10,000 apprenticeships over the next six years.

“We welcome the commitment to reform our training structure and create genuine trade training opportunities.

“The building and construction industry now has a greater opportunity to work with training providers to develop a system that ensures we have the skilled people where we need them and when we need them.

“We have had situations where there were not enough workers to meet the demand of the heavy engineering resource sector projects in one part of the state whilst elsewhere residential construction was at its lowest since the mid-1980s and skilled construction workers were unemployed.

“The taskforce response is an opportunity for the building and construction industry to change that, challenge how they train their staff and champion more flexible options.

“For example our current approach says you need to have a job to be trained in a trade, and that trade will take you four years to master.

“If we only hire new apprentices and trainees when we have plenty of work, and it takes up to four years to grow a skilled worker, how will we have them work ready when we need them?

“We need continuous training and modern, faster delivery processes to ensure a steady stream of skilled workers and prevent the heavy costs incurred when supply and demand is out of rhythm,” he said.

Mr Schimming said he hoped the implementation of the reform response actions would trigger the end of “Just in Time” training.

“We need to address the changing world of our future employees.

“We have an ageing workforce, there is strong competition from a growing range of professions, career change is common and four years on apprenticeship wages is often not attractive to the twenty-first century school leaver.

“The building and construction industry is one of the largest employers in Queensland and needs to continue to attract and grow skills well before they are needed.”

The Queensland Skills and Training Taskforce was set up to provide recommendations to the State Government on how to revamp and reform the state’s training system. The state government recently responded to those recommendations with a range of initiatives. http://training.qld.gov.au/industry/skills-training-taskforce/gov-response.html