National Skills Agreement critical to grow construction workforce

“The Housing Industry Association (HIA) welcomes the National Cabinet’s announcement of the National Skills Agreement. The Agreement promises to invest $12.6 billion to expand and transform the VET sector to deliver quality training and reforms which address our critical skills needs,” said Jocelyn Martin, HIA Managing Director.

“Earlier this year National Cabinet committed to building 1.2 million homes over the next 5 years. To build these much needed homes, it is critical that we have the key skills and workforce in place to enable us to achieve this target.

“This investment is a key plank in addressing the skills shortages, strengthening our VET sector and training and up-skilling workers into national priority areas including construction.

“Part of this agreement includes the establishment of nationally networked Centres of Excellence involving partnerships between TAFEs, universities, Jobs and Skills Councils and industry,” added Ms Martin.

Whilst broadly supportive of these targeted ‘Centres of Excellence’ which can focus on key skills gaps, HIA stresses the importance of the Australian Government broadening the focus beyond TAFE’s to also recognise the key role played by industry-specific training organisations.

These organisations deliver training developed by industry for industry and also have the capacity to deliver targeted skills in regional areas.

Included in the $12.6 billion funding is $100 million to support, grow and retain a quality VET workforce, $250 million to improve VET completions, including women and others who face completion challenges and $142 million to improve foundation skills training capacity, quality and accessibility.

“The National Skills Agreement promises to deliver much-needed changes to the VET system and the opportunity to target skills and reforms which will make a difference to our industry and our capacity to deliver on the Government’s plan to build 1.2 million homes,” concluded Ms Martin.