Release type: Media Release

Date:

Apprentices help rebuild flood affected Queensland

Ministers:

Senator the Hon Chris Evans
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations
Leader of the Government in the Senate

The Minister for Skills and Jobs, Senator Chris Evans, today met young Queensland apprentices involved in flood recovery work with the support of the Australian Government.

“The Gillard Government’s investment in the $83 million Queensland Natural Disasters Jobs and Skills Package is making a real difference to the disaster recovery efforts.

“Apprentices are now employed on projects across Queensland as the rebuilding effort gathers momentum,” Senator Evans said.

Senator Evans met several apprentices at Construction Skills Queensland’s flood affected premises in Brisbane’s West End. The apprentices are employed under a programme which supports stood down or out-of-trade construction apprentices to continue their training through placement in community projects.

“It’s a successful partnership that is helping out-of-trade apprentices continue working to ensure they achieve their trade qualification,” Senator Evans.

The $83 million Queensland Natural Disasters Jobs and Skills Package is a joint initiative of the Commonwealth and Queensland governments which includes a number of measures designed to provide support to employees, apprentices and industries affected by this year’s natural disasters.

The package has already provided immediate wage support to more than 420 apprentices allowing them to assist in the recovery effort.

From July 2011, the package will provide support for the employment for a further 750 out-of-trade apprentices as demand requires.

The Package has already seen 106 new apprentices employed with businesses across Queensland. These businesses will benefit from the $3 350 Apprentice Disaster Recovery Bonus if they retain their apprentices.

“The Government is committed to ensuring that apprentices who were stood down in the wake of the floods are given the opportunity to complete their trade and contribute to the vital work of rebuilding devastated communities.”

“One of the best ways we can help disaster affected communities to get back on their feet quickly is to support practical programs which help workers and industries,” Senator Evans said.

“Australia now has a record number of apprentices and trainees in training and the Gillard Government is determined to maintain this effort.

“As the Queensland economy recovers there will be growing demand for skilled workers and qualified trades people.”

For more information about the Australian Apprenticeship Intervention Project, visit www.gtaqnt.net.au.

Details of the Queensland Natural Disasters Jobs and Skills Package are available at http://www.deewr.gov.au/Pages/Skills.aspx