Construction Industry Bodies Respond to Federal Budget

The 2024 Federal Budget will deliver some significant outcomes to support building and construction, including workforce skilling, apprenticeships and female workers, to name a few. Several industry bodies have backed the Budget, with members seeking a Budget that supports businesses to help boost economic growth, bring down inflation and build for the country, but have been restricted by their capacity and have increased costs to deliver.



The Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA) has highlighted investments that will support Australia’s skills training system, boosting workforce skilling, reskilling and upskilling.

Despite this, the ITECA says the focus on the provision of skills training is where the Budget could have been stronger, with the Budget’s commitment to skills training underestimating the transformative power of independent registered training organisation (RTO) providers.

“This budget could have done more to put students at the heart of the skills training system, where the federal government backs their decision to study with an independent training provider or public TAFE college,” ITECA chief executive Troy Williams says.

The ITECA says more robust support for students studying with independent RTOs could unleash unprecedented workforce potential and innovation.

The Construction, Forestry, Maritime Employees Union (CFMEU) has backed the Budget with measures to help more apprentices and women forge careers in construction.

The CFMEU notes the Budget will provide building and construction apprentices access to $5,000 to help them complete training, while employers will be eligible for the same amount to subsidise costs.

“Apprentice tradies are in a world of pain thanks to the cost-of-living crisis, so this extra help will mean fewer will drop out because of the financial squeeze,” CFMEU national secretary Zach Smith says.

In addition, the Building Women’s Careers program will spend $55.6 million over four years to provide flexible, safe and inclusive jobs for women in industries including construction.

“Getting apprentice completion rates up is critical to solving some of our nation’s biggest challenges like the housing crisis and energy transition,” Zach says.

Master Builders Australia (MBA) believes that the Budget recognises the importance of a holistic, cross-portfolio approach to solving the housing crisis.

MBA chief executive Denita Wawn says the Budget falls short of supporting the businesses required to deliver on those projects: “For the industry to build 1.2 million new homes under the Housing Accord, the government ministers must sing from the same hymn sheet and centre efforts on boosting the housing supply,” she says.

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

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