The Federal Opposition will help create up to 70,000 new jobs and provide training with a $75 million Renewables Training Package – including support for 10,000 apprentices in the renewable and clean energy industries.

Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten, said renewable energy means more jobs, more investment, cheaper energy and lower pollution.

He said Labor’s commitment to 50 per cent renewables by 2030 will see up to 70,000 jobs created.

“Australians already know the benefits of cheaper, cleaner renewable energy. The number of households with rooftop solar has grown from 7,000 in 2007 to more than two million today,” Shorten said.

“To support this renewables revolution, Labor will support 10,000 apprenticeships in renewable energy-related fields and will upgrade TAFE campuses around the country.

“Labor will invest $45 million in 10,000 additional Apprentice Incentives for apprentices in the renewables industry.

“Employers will be able to access up to $8,000 to take on an apprentice and apprentices will get $2,000 to assist with the costs of their education.

“This is part of Labor’s commitment to provide an additional 150,000 Apprentice Incentives.”

The Apprentice Incentives will be available for apprentices working on renewable energy projects and for clean energy businesses. This includes wind and solar, battery manufacture and installation, pumped hydro and transmission.

Labor has also pledged to invest $30 million to upgrade TAFEs around the country.

The package includes:

$20 million Renewable Industries TAFE Upgrades – to make sure apprentices and TAFE students have the opportunity to train on industry standard equipment, including batteries, solar panels, turbine and grid components. This will also support building, construction and design students to integrate renewables into their studies and make sure TAFE is at the forefront of renewables innovation and education.

$10 million in a Clean Energy Training Fund – to support industry partnerships for the training and upskilling of workers in clean energy industries, from solar and battery installers to energy management system professionals. Labor will work with TAFEs, RTOs, unions, and industry on the implementation of this fund.

Just last month the battle to drastically increase apprentice numbers went a step further when the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, announced a $60 million expansion to the Apprentice Wage Subsidy program.

The Coalition is promising to double the size of a trial program that encourages regional businesses to take on apprentices by having taxpayers help cover their wages.

Morrison said learning a trade was just as valuable as getting a university degree. Tradies have certainly been the big winners in this federal election which will be held on May 18, 2019.

"We're backing 1600 new sparkies, plumbers, mechanics, hairdressers and painters. Importantly, they will be learning their trade in regional Australia where these skills are needed,” he said.

Under the program, taxpayers cover three-quarters the wages of a first-year apprentice, half for a second year and a quarter in the third year.

It will cost another $60 million to expand from 1600 apprentices to 3200.


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