The apprenticeship priority

The apprenticeship priority - image

The apprenticeship priority

Justin Boehm, Regional General Manager at LEEA, explains why the Association’s Regional Council in Australia and New Zealand is prioritising bringing to life a similar solution to the Lifting Equipment Technician Apprenticeship, which is now live in England, for our market place.

The first Infrastructure Market Capacity report, published by Infrastructure Australia in October 2021, forecasts a surge in demand for skills, labour and materials due to the rapid increase in public infrastructure investment. The report, which updates the Council of Australian Governments on the market’s capacity to deliver on the investment pipeline, suggests that major public infrastructure activity will approximately double over the next three years, peaking at $52 billion in 2023. While highlighting new opportunities for local business and employment created by this investment, skills shortages are revealed to be among the constraints on the capacity of the market to meet this investment growth.

According to Infrastructure Australia, employment in the infrastructure sector will need to grow from 183,000 people today to more than 288,000 in mid-2023. While this is good news in terms of employment opportunity, there is a risk these roles will be unfilled. Given that peak demand for skills is 48% higher than supply, it is suggested that annual growth of 25% over the next two years, which is more than eight times higher than the projected annual growth rate of 3.3%, is required to meet this demand. Bringing this closer to our Lifting world, engineering occupations are currently most at risk of shortage.

With the pandemic highlighting Australia’s reliance on migration, industry needs to review attitudes to training to attract recruits into those sectors, such as Lifting, that are exposed to skills shortages. It is encouraging that the Australian Government’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan includes measures to support new apprenticeships, including the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidy.

Apprenticeships and traineeships are central components of the vocational education and training system. They provide the opportunity to train and study toward a nationally recognised qualification, combining on- and off-the-job training to enable individuals to develop their skills while participating in the workforce and earning an income.

In England, the Lifting Equipment Technician Apprenticeship is now live, which has been created to meet the industry’s specific requirements through the hard work of the LEEA-driven Trailblazer group. The apprenticeship has funding in England but the framework can be applied globally.  The newly formed Regional Council in Australia and New Zealand, is prioritising bringing to life a similar solution for our market place.

Growth in the Lifting Industry in Australia can only happen if there is a supply of skills into the sector. It is important that as a sector we drive the type of apprenticeship we need and train people with the skills required by our forward looking lifting Industry.

Apprenticeships involve work-related and transferable skills as well as hands on experience, so trainees are actually doing the job rather than practising classroom-based simulations and they are actively working to procedures and protocol that surround a job. They will develop skills such as communication, time keeping and organisation. In addition, they will learn how to work with other people and take on responsibility. Apprenticeships work for employers, recruits, the industry and for LEEA because we want our industry to be professionalised – we want to ensure that delivery of apprenticeship is best in class.

The post pandemic environment will be a key time to be making an apprenticeship offer. Promoting the Lifting Sector as a career option for young people is a key goal for LEEA. By creating apprenticeships in close partnership with employers in the Lifting Industry we can ensure that that they are built around the high demand for the right kind of skills in the sector.


Watch an introduction to the newly created Lifting Equipment Technician Apprenticeship in England, along with case studies from successful apprenticeships in the lifting industry, here:

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