• Minister for Skills and Training, Brendan O’Connor.
    Minister for Skills and Training, Brendan O’Connor.

The federal government is expanding the New Energy Apprenticeships Program which provides incentives to encourage more people into sectors that are playing a critical role in transitioning Australia to a net zero economy.

The program also supports a Future Made in Australia.

From 1 June 2024, the program will be broadened to respond to issues raised by industry during consultations about the practical issues facing key sectors as they transition to clean energy and adapt to new technology.

The changes will help assist more apprentices and trainees upskilling in sectors with exposure to clean energy – like housing construction, automotive and advanced manufacturing – and remove a requirement that an apprentice’s work be solely dedicated to clean energy, whilst retaining a clean energy skilling purpose for the apprenticeship.

Minister for Skills and Training, Brendan O’Connor, said the government is also expanding the types of apprenticeships that are eligible, including designing and constructing hydroelectricity, solar and battery installations, electric vehicle maintenance and more. 

This expanded program will increase the skilled workforce with clean energy related skills in residential energy efficiency and will help support the government’s ambitious housing agenda.

“Electric Vehicles (EVs) are a rapidly increasing part of our automotive market, so we’ve made sure that apprentice mechanics learning to work on EVs can access the program as the industry changes,” he said.

The New Energy Apprenticeships Program gives apprentices up to $10,000 in support over the duration of their apprenticeship, helping to offset cost-of-living challenges that apprentices face, especially during their first two years.

The New Energy Apprenticeships Program covers 40 different occupations, encouraging more apprentices to build skills relevant for the net zero transition.

More than 2,210 New Energy Apprentices have signed-up since the program’s launch last year.

“We must do all we can to supercharge our efforts to address climate change, as well as address the acute skills shortages we face to rewire the nation,” O’ Connor said.

“This is a great opportunity for Australians to gain a trade whilst accessing government incentives, as well as doing something tangible for the environment by working in industries that will reduce carbon emissions.”

For more information about New Energy Apprentices, visit www.apprenticeships.gov.au