Master Plumbers welcomes release of Construction Skills Action Plan
9 October 2018
Master Plumbers welcomes the release of the Government's Construction Skills Action Plan, which sets out six initial priority areas to address skills shortages in the construction industry.
These include the Mana in Mahi—Strength in Work subsidised apprenticeship scheme for unemployed young people between the ages of 18 and 24. "We would like to see this scheme extended to jobseekers of all ages," says Master Plumbers CEO Greg Wallace. "Growing numbers of apprentices in the Master Plumbers-owned Masterlink group training scheme are tertiary qualified and start their training long after leaving school. Some employers also prefer older candidates."
He says about a fifth of plumbing businesses currently take on apprentices, and incentives are needed to increase this figure. "The shortage is only going to get worse and I think we should be pulling some levers now."
Other key initiatives include:
- preference given on Government contracts to bidders who can prove their contractors and subcontractors provide training opportunities.
- additional investment in construction pre-employment and in-work training programmes, which is expected to lead to 150 extra Skills for Industry places in the 2018/19 financial year.