Decisive Action to Keep Apprentices in Work

Master Plumbers today welcomed the Federal Government announcement to keep apprentices in work as part of its $17.6 billion stimulus package.

Master Plumbers CEO Peter Daly said that the government had acted quickly and decisively in the face of the yet-unknown impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the apprentice workforce.

“We welcome this announcement by the Federal Government which is both timely and reassuring for our industry as the World Health Organisation officially declares a pandemic,” Mr Daly said.

Decisive action to keep apprentices in work

“Plumbing businesses of all sizes, across both domestic and commercial sectors, are already under significant pressure and the effects of COVID-19 on the workforce and supply chains has created further uncertainty for employers,” he said.

Master Plumbers understands that there are around 30,000 apprentices employed by small business across Victoria and Mr Daly warned that without government support many of these jobs are at risk.

“Small business provides a wonderful training ground for plumbing apprentices, but these businesses are often the most exposed to short-term shocks.  We simply cannot afford to see the next generation of professionals depart the plumbing industry, given that it takes years for the industry to recover from a labour shortage.”

“The Federal Government’s decision to support small businesses and Group Training Organisations in the employment and development of our future workforce at this challenging time is a very positive initiative.  Our industry always has an eye to the future and this announcement will assist industry to save jobs which otherwise would have been at significant risk,” Mr Daly said.

Master Plumbers will continue to closely monitor the impact of COVID-19 and work with all levels of government to ensure that appropriate advice and support is provided to the plumbing industry.

We look forward to other details of the $6.7 billion small and medium business support package being released.

Master Plumbers is the plumbing industry association representing around 1,000 plumbing businesses in Victoria which employ more than 6,000 plumbers.

The Federal Government’s reported $1.3 billion support package to keep almost 120,000 apprentices in work across Australia includes up to $21,000 per small business apprentice.  It works by giving employers a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage backdated from the start of the year to 30 September 2020.  Further details are expected to be announced shortly.