Federal Budget offers $90m to help construction and housing sector

The Federal Government is investing $90.6 million to increase the number of construction and housing workers to help close the national skills gap.

The commitment, announced today ahead of the Federal Budget, aims to provide the Australian economy with the skilled workforce required to lift housing supply.

The Government plans to build 1.2 million new homes by 2029, a goal which it acknowledges is “ambitious”.

The announcement follows the WA Government’s investment of $52.3m earlier this week to support the State’s building and construction apprentices.

“This is a great opportunity for people to gain a trade whilst accessing government incentives and reduce cost of living pressures through more affordable housing,” says Federal Skills and Training Minister Brendan O’Connor.

The Government plans to remove cost barriers to education and training and incentivise Australians to train in areas the economy needs them most.

This includes $88.8m for 20,000 additional fee-free TAFE training places to increase the pipeline of workers for construction and housing, including:

  • $62.4m, working with states and territories, to deliver an additional 15,000 fee-free TAFE and VET places over two years from January 1, 2025.
  • $26.4m, working with states and territories, to deliver about 5,000 places in pre-apprenticeship programs over two years from January 1, 2025.

Places may be offered by both TAFEs and industry registered training organisations (RTOs) that provide specialised and high-quality training in the sector.

To December 31, 2023, fee-free TAFE supported over 355,000 student enrolments nationally.

Enrolments in fee-free TAFE were strong across all priority sectors, with over 24,000 construction sector course enrolments in 2023, with over 3,000 being women.

The new pre-apprenticeships places will support more people to move into a construction apprenticeship and succeed in training, by providing students with a taste of industry experience before choosing to become an apprentice.

The Government is also spending $1.8m to encourage migrants into the sector by streamlining skills assessments for around 1,900 potential migrants from countries with comparable qualifications and prioritising the processing of about 2,600 Trades Recognition Australia skills assessments in targeted occupations.

ASA has information on financial assistance for apprentices and trainees, and incentives for employers.


Powered by CCIWA, Apprenticeship Support Australia (ASA), offers support throughout the entire apprenticeship and traineeship process. Contact ASA at [email protected] or phone 1300 363 831.  

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