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Training funding boost good, but serious commitment needed

11 November, 2008

The Government's announcement of a funding boost for training is positive, but must go further, the CFMEU has said.

The announcement of an extra $187 million is being welcomed by the union, but a commitment to creating apprenticeship quotas is also needed.

"We are pleased with the Government's announcement, which will go some way to addressing the skills crisis in the construction industry. However, we are calling on the Government to enforce apprenticeship quotas especially for Government and Infrastructure Australia jobs," Construction Division National Secretary Dave Noonan said.

"The Government has enormous sway as a major client. They should insist that contractors who win Government contracts employ a minimum number of apprentices.

"The CFMEU has been advocating for some time for formal apprenticeship quotas linked to total hours worked on Government projects. We see the setting as somewhere around 10 per cent of total hours worked on the projects being carried out by apprentices," Noonan said.

"There needs to be real jobs for apprentices, not just training places.

"This is a golden opportunity for the Commonwealth to link its increase in funding for training to the spending on infrastructure, providing real apprenticeship opportunities for young Australians and building capacity in the construction sector," Noonan said.

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