Skills shortage more urgent after flood disaster

Rebuilding after the devastating floods in Queensland and New South Wales will be hampered by the critical shortage of skilled tradespeople in Australia.

One Nation leader, Senator Pauline Hanson, said tradespeople made up at least a third of the skilled worker shortage in Queensland, highlighting the need for more apprenticeships for young Australians.

“One of the major factors in the crisis engulfing the housing market in Australia is the shortage of skilled tradespeople to get the work done,” Senator Hanson said.

“The demand for tradespeople will only increase in the wake of these devastating floods, which have hit communities hard from Gympie to Lismore. Young Australians considering their future need to think about entering this workforce; the opportunities are only going to increase.

“This highlights the need for Australia to invest heavily in a home-grown skilled workforce. Instead of sourcing more workers from overseas, we should be investing in training a skilled Australian workforce. The COVID-19 pandemic has also shown us how important it is for Australia to be as self-sufficient as possible in skills, workers, materials and finished products.”

Senator Hanson and One Nation have been instrumental in the development of apprenticeship schemes, securing a regional pilot program which created more than 3000 places which later led to a national scheme creating up to 100,000 apprenticeships.

“Not everyone wants to go to university,” she said. “Apprenticeships offer a rewarding career path for Australians who aren’t academically inclined. They don’t need to complete high school – they could be in the workforce right now learning a trade and gaining the skills Australia desperately needs.

“Our policy is to boost numbers of home-grown tradespeople by expanding the national apprenticeship scheme in which apprentices receive a 75% wage subsidy in their first year, 50% in the second year and 25% in the third. First and foremost, we support permanent and secure jobs for Australians.”

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