Release type: Transcript

Date:

Interview — Triple M Central Coast with Rob Palmer and Paddy Gerrard

Ministers:

The Hon Stuart Robert MP
Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business
Acting Minister for Education and Youth


ROB PALMER:

Today on the Coast we’ve got the Federal Government Minister for Employment, Workforce and Skills, Mr Stuart Robert. G’day, Stuart.

MINISTER ROBERT:

How are you, lads? Great to be with you. The sun is shining, the water is still and it is beautiful down here at Terrigal with Lucy Wicks. It’s superb.

ROB PALMER:

Have you already gone for your morning run?

MINISTER ROBERT:

I’ve gone for - In fact, I went for a run last night and it was so nice this morning I went for another one, so I’m a bit sore.

PADDY GERRARD:

It’s not - are you staying at Crowne Plaza?

MINISTER ROBERT:

Yeah, it’s good.

PADDY GERRARD:

Nice place, isn’t it?

MINISTER ROBERT:

It’s the first time I’ve stayed here. It is dead-set gorgeous. And the boardwalk here – I was just chatting with Lucy Wicks about it, the local member, mate, it is spectacular.

PADDY GERRARD:

Yeah, it is so nice. Now, you’re with Lucy today. Of course - When, just quickly, will the Prime Minister announce when we go to the elections? What day this week, do you know? Is it Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday?

MINISTER ROBERT:

I don’t know. The election needs to be at the end of May, of course – 33-day election campaigns. You’d expect it sometime in the fullness of time.

PADDY GERRARD:

Stuart, we had the Prime Minister on last week, and we had our - we have the wheel of meat. And we spun it, and it was the election wheel on the day that he - last Thursday. And 14 May - how’s that looking, you reckon? Just saying. 

MINISTER ROBERT:

Well, I think that’s mid-way between 7 May and 21 May.

PADDY GERRARD:

[Laughs] So, there we go. It could be – not saying it is. Now, how is it all shaping up on the Central Coast for you guys?

MINISTER ROBERT:

Apart from the weather being magnificent and the locals extraordinary, I’m here with Lucy to announce that we’ve got record number of trade apprentices on the Central Coast, which is just superb; over 2,800 trade apprentices, the highest number like, ever, in the history. And  22 per cent higher than what it was under Labor. So in terms of if you’re an apprentice, mate, this Government’s the best friend you’ve ever had.

ROB PALMER:

What was the Budget - in the Budget that was announced the other day by the Treasurer last Tuesday, what was it for the apprentices and their bosses? Has that changed a bit?

MINISTER ROBERT:

Substantially. So we extended what’s called the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencement, so, if you’re a young Australian and you want to get an apprentice, you sign up between now and 30 June and the Federal Government will pay 50 per cent of that first year salary. And then of course from there, 10 per cent of the second and 5 per cent for the third year. And then after 30 June, so from 1 July onwards, we’ll change the incentive structures as we work our way down from the COVID measures, and it’ll be 10 per cent first year, 10 per cent second year, 5 per cent – plus, of course, there’ll be a $5,000 bonus for the apprentice to sign up, because we want more young Australians into work.

ROB PALMER:

See, and that’s the thing. Like, you speak to the tradies, they’re having - a lot of the tradies on the Central Coast, they’re having trouble getting workers. But these apprentices, they’re our workers of the future, they’re our tradies of the future, and we’ve got to get behind them.

MINISTER ROBERT:

Correct. And look, there are hundreds and hundreds of young Australians right now aged 16 to 21 on the Central Coast who aren’t working and who aren’t in training. Every single one of those should become an apprentice I reckon.

PADDY GERRARD:

Okay.

MINISTER ROBERT:

I think an apprenticeship is a superb start for any young person. 

PADDY GERRARD:

[Talks over] Yeah. And you see, like, you know, we have a lot of kids, like, who’ve just finished year 12 last year, and quite a lot of them - like, some have started uni. But you know, apprenticeship is just as good as going to uni.

MINISTER ROBERT:

Oh goodness, even better. I remember a great ad, a long time ago - I saw it in Canada - there was a Porsche ripping around the mountains and a helicopter zoomed in on the number plate. And as this car roared around, the number plate showed up as plumber.

ROB PALMER:

[Laughs] Yeah.

MINISTER ROBERT:

The point, though, I’m making is it’s a great job, it’s a great lifestyle. Tradies are always in demand. If you’ve got a plumbing problem, mate…

PADDY GERRARD:

Yeah.

MINISTER ROBERT:

… trust me – you’re not going to wait - you’d call in a plumber. If the light doesn’t work, if your deck’s broken, if you need to build something new, you’re calling a tradie. They’ll always be in demand.

PADDY GERRARD:

Yeah, Stuart Robert, Minister for Employment, Workforce. Thanks for joining us. Enjoy Terrigal and say g’day to Lucy Wicks for us, Stuart.

MINISTER ROBERT:

Will do. Thanks for that, lads. Cheers.