Businesses who hire apprentices as part of their tendering process for government procurement and projects under $50 million now have a better chance of winning tenders.

Minister for Industry and Skills David Pisoni said reforms to South Australia’s Industry Participation Plans further supports the $203 million Skilling South Australia initiative, to ensure a skilled future workforce.”

Businesses who employee apprentices and trainees will have an increased weighting to win tenders for projects under $50 million. It is expected that approximately 150 tenders per year will now boast apprentices and trainees in workforce plans.

Once a contract has been awarded the Office of the Industry Advocate will work with businesses to determine the number of apprentices that will be engaged throughout the contract either directly or through sub-contractors and suppliers.

This will help support the creation of 20,800 work-based apprenticeships and traineeships in South Australia over the next four years.

Industry sectors need access to skilled staff, so they can grow and diversify their businesses to meet new and changing market conditions.

Trainees or apprentices can be engaged directly by the business or via a Group Training Organisation.

Civil Contractors Federation South Australia CEO Phillip Sutherland said, “any strategy designed to arrest the downward spiral of apprentices in South Australia is welcome. Within this there is scope for government to partner with and support industry. A skilled workforce is a productive workforce. If South Australia is to compete in a global economy in the years ahead we need a solid base of highly skilled tradespeople.”

The Department of Industry and Skills – Aboriginal Stakeholder Engagement Team works to build the capacity of employers and industry to successfully employ and retain Aboriginal people through the facilitation of apprenticeships, including financial incentives and mentoring for both the employer and Aboriginal employee throughout their training contract. For more information and contact details please refer to the Aboriginal Stakeholder Engagement website.

For more information about apprenticeships call 1800 673 097 or visit the Skilling South Australia website or our office about the changes to Industry Participation Plans.

Ian Nightingale – Industry Advocate