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 employ apprentices and trainees will have an increased weighting to win tenders for projects under $50 million,” Minister Pisoni said.
“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.”
The South Australian Industry Participation Policy maximises the economic benefits to the State.
Industry Advocate Ian Nightingale said industry sectors need access to skilled staff, so they can grow and diversify their businesses to meet new and changing market conditions.
“The trainees or apprentices can be engaged directly by the business or via a Group Training Organisation,” Mr Nightingale said.
Master Builders South Australia CEO Ian Markos said apprenticeships are vital to building a skilled supply of workers for industry.
“Unfortunately, the number of apprentices has seriously declined in an environment where consumers and many of our members are already grappling with a skills shortage,” Mr Markos said.
“Without suitably trained people coming through, our industry will suffer badly.”
For more information about apprenticeships call 1800 673 09 or visit vet.skills.sa.gov.au or the Office of the Industry Advocate about the changes to Industry Participation Plans.