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Apprenticeship support a hit in Queensland

Queensland has positioned itself as a leading adopter of the federal government’s $95.6m New Energy Apprenticeships program.

Ministers Di Farmer and Brendan O’Connor visit Queensland TAFE

Spanning nine years, the initiative aims to train and support apprentices in the clean energy sector, playing a vital role in the national goal of reducing emissions by 43 per cent by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

Since its start in January 2023, around 1200 New Energy Apprentices have enrolled across Australia, of which 26 percent are Queenslanders.

This achievement was celebrated during a visit to the Eagle Farm campus of VASA member Queensland TAFE by federal skills and training minister Brendan O’Connor along with Queensland minister for training and skills development Di Farmer.

As part of the Powering Australia plan, the New Energy Apprenticeships initiative aims to provide financial assistance to 10,000 apprentices who will receive up to A$10,000 in support to help alleviate the financial strain of living expenses during their training. 

Full-time apprentices can claim up to $2000, and part-time apprentices can claim up to $1000, at four intervals.

“Clean energy industries are the future, particularly here in Queensland, and include work in solar installation, large scale renewable projects, electric vehicles, green hydrogen, and renewable manufacturing,” said Minister O’Connor.

Queensland’s job market reflects a strong demand for clean energy occupations; in particular, occupations such as electricians, automotive technicians, and air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanics are currently facing skills shortages within the state.

To ensure a smooth transition to a clean energy future Minister O’Connor stressed that “we must build greater skills capacity in the clean energy sector, so our economic growth isn’t impeded and Australia’s clean energy transition continues to accelerate to achieve our 2030 Emission Reduction Target”.

Emphasising the state government’s focus, Minister Farmer stated: “The Queensland Government is not just focused on the workforce needs of today, but implementing plans that will sustain our long-term economic growth by creating high-value, secure jobs.” 

The ministers also met with students enrolled in the Commonwealth and State Government’s ‘Fee-Free’ TAFE training. 

These vocational programs, running for 12 months with 180,000 places available nationally, have already achieved significant milestones in Queensland. The initial target of supporting more than 37,000 places in 2023 has been met, including more than 3300 commencements in the Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician, the most popular subsidised course in Queensland.

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