Master Builders Australia (MBA) has called for a complete overhaul of the current model of construction trade apprenticeships in the country. The continued decline in construction trade apprenticeships highlighted the need for a new and sustainable apprentice model.

Richard Calver, Acting CEO of Master Builders Australia refers to the latest apprentice data released by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research to urge the Government to urgently work with industry to develop a roadmap for the future of trade apprenticeships.

The number of construction apprentices in training has fallen to below 44,000, less than half the number needed to meet the industry’s ongoing skilled workforce requirements, a problem that will be exacerbated as demand increases.

A reduced level of apprentice cancellations in 2013 is welcome with the abatement of job shedding in the industry. It also points to the effectiveness of Master Builders Construction Apprentice Mentoring Scheme.

In order to meet future demand Master Builders is calling for a new apprenticeship model, which must include enhanced mentoring and support for apprentices and appropriate incentives for employers to train more apprentices. Harmonisation between states and territories, better career advice and an improved pathway program would also add to a better model for the future.