CTF Annual Workshop Re-affirms Need for Trade Training
Recently ABBTF attended the annual Construction Training Fund (CTF) stakeholder’s forum where a strong commitment to training was made evident, with much appreciation from industry.
The role of these forums is twofold. The first role is to review the performance of the CTF and provide feedback. And the second is to discuss new initiatives and provide feedback and suggestions on how we can improve both the quality of training and trade training take up.
The 2014-2015 revenue forecast for the CTF stands at about $35 million, of which 58% is generated through the Housing sector, 29% from Commercial building activity and 13% from Civil Engineering activity.
Only $50,000 from the $35 million is likely to be raised this year from the Resource sector. This seems hardly fair when you look at volume of trade services that float in and out of this area, supported by the CTF.
One of the biggest investments made with this funding goes into wages support. This was identified by the stakeholders present as being beneficial in growing and maintaining construction trade apprenticeships.
Industry applauded the CTF for increasing wages support of recent for critical trades such as bricklaying, which has resulted in increased apprentices numbers, commencements and improved ratios of apprentices to actual tradesmen.
The CTF has a very strong presence in career advising in schools, careers expos and the broader public, often working alongside ABBTF to promote trade training funding apprenticeships for employers. In a healthy sign of commitment to all construction industries it is planning to relocate to a new 4,000 m2 headquarters in Belmont, expected to cost $3.5 million. The new facility will encompass a Career Information Centre.
In terms of general discussion and feedback provided by industry, there were many important issues raised and positions put forward (many of which also reflect ABBTF stakeholder views):
- Whilst there will be a softening in residential building activity, apprentice numbers could and should be sustained.
- Bricklaying is still a trade in demand in WA.
- Use of modular non brick construction increasing.
- Migrant workers coming into industry have dropped off.
- TAFE fees a major concern for employers and apprentices.
- Need for more industry validation of training practices/skills development.
- Ageing workforce a concern.
- Need to retain apprentices a high priority.
- Not much loyalty in industry (builders vs. trades).
- Need for counter cyclical training and promotion.
- Potential for skillset training for specific job roles.
- Little support for institutional-based training.
- Mixed support for current apprenticeship model (need to revise and improve).
- Some support for both lock-step and capstone assessment.
- Reduction in wholesale apprenticeship training term not supported.
- Call for multi-skilled apprentices/workers (streaming).
- More industry effort in post-trade training.
- Call for electronic skills tracking tools.
- Industry wants new starters to have better attitude, communication, time management, driver’s license and LL&N skills.
- Mixed views on VETis performance.
- Need to continuously educate school based VET teachers (career choices).
- Opportunity to capture and support more mature-aged apprentices/employers as mining and resource sector softens.
- Extra wages support made a difference in boosting trades at risk, such as bricklaying (response to the needs of industry).
A range of projects where also identified to help improve apprentice retention and recruitment which will no doubt pay dividend in the future.
To discuss any of the above with ABBTF, please call us on 1300 66 44 96 or contact WA at the website. For further information about the CTF in Western Australia please go to its website at https://bcitf.org