$6000 to employ a beginner for trade
TAKE on an apprentice and receive $6000.
That's the crux of a new State Government initiative and so far 14 employers in the Mackay region have taken up the offer.
The Queensland Apprenticeship Pledge, which gives employers a funding boost if they hire an additional apprentice this financial year, has been launched by the State Government in a bid to reach their ambitious target of creating 6000 more apprentices in Queensland.
Minister for Education, Training and Employment John-Paul Langbroek, who visited Paget yesterday, said it was essential Central Queensland businesses continued to skill the workforce, even though some parts of the economy had "paused".
He said healthy economies didn't come in boom-bust cycles - the key for a thriving economy was steady growth.
"We need to make sure people get skills for ... when it picks up. We need to have people ready to go," he said.
"I don't think anyone will take on an apprentice just to get $6000. (They do it) if they feel the job prospects and the work prospects are there for that apprentice."
As a tradesman, Melco Engineering managing director Mark Clifford knows all too well the importance of hiring apprentices.
The Paget-based heavy engineering contracting company is one of the employers who have made the pledge, taking five new apprentices.
"In our history, we have provided training opportunities to more than 100 apprentices, and through the Queensland Apprenticeship Pledge initiative we are determined to continue that commitment," he said.
"We encourage all employers to take the pledge to ensure the future economic security of Queensland and the local region."
The business, which has been operating in Mackay for about 20 years, has the capacity to provide jobs for 150 workers but at the moment they have 70 employees on the books.
Visit http://www.training.qld.gov.au/pledge for more information.