Australia boosts manufacturing with new skills initiatives in Budget 2024-25

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The Budget 2024-25 is placing a significant emphasis on revitalising and modernising Australia’s manufacturing sector through the substantial investment in skills and training to support the Future Made in Australia industries.

The government revealed it is expanding the New Energy Apprenticeships Program to include clean energy sectors, offering $10,000 incentive payments to apprentices and targeting the creation of 10,000 new energy jobs.

To bolster its renewable energy ambitions, the government has earmarked $30 million to enhance the VET teaching workforce for clean energy courses and an additional $50 million to upgrade and expand clean energy training facilities.

A significant aspect of building a Future Made in Australia is increasing women’s participation in traditionally male-dominated sectors.

The government said it will invest $55.6 million to launch the Building Women’s Careers program. This initiative aims to support women in key industries such as clean energy and advanced manufacturing, driving structural changes and broadening employment opportunities.

To support apprentices and bolster the construction workforce, the government has committed to maintaining $5,000 support payments for apprentices in priority occupations until 1 July 2025.

Employers of these apprentices will receive a $5,000 hiring incentive, providing stability and encouragement while the Strategic Review of the Apprenticeship Incentive System is conducted.

Additionally, the government will allocate $88.8 million to create 20,000 new fee-free TAFE places, including pre-apprenticeship courses pertinent to the construction sector.

An investment of $1.8 million will be made to streamline skills assessments for approximately 1,900 migrants from comparable countries, facilitating their entry into Australia’s housing construction industry.

Furthermore, a National Robotics Strategy will be introduced to promote the responsible production and adoption of robotics and automation technologies in advanced manufacturing across Australia.

The government said this strategy is designed to ensure that Australia remains at the forefront of technological innovation and manufacturing efficiency.