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Training & Development - The Solution to the Candidate Short Market

Author: Phil Underdown

Published date: 2021/06

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Following a recent training session with job board SEEK, it is clear there is a shortage of experienced workers in the trades and labour industry. SEEK’s data showed that every single job category that falls under trades and labour, is currently experiencing low candidate availability, when compared to both this time last year and the 5-year average. What this shows is that there is an ever-increasing importance on keeping hold of current staff members. Spending resources on training and development is a great way to do this.


At Fetch we are in the process of developing an apprenticeship and cadetship program. The goal of this is to be able to source great workers and upskill them so they are more effective in the workplace. With long term goals set out, plus continued support, mentorship, and development we hope to create a healthy and happy workforce.


At present there are several government schemes aimed at incentivising businesses to employ apprentices, cadets & trainees to ensure Australian residents and citizens are getting opportunities following COVID-19. At the time of writing, we are still battling with the pandemic, but economic recovery is very much front of mind. Currently, the ‘Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements’ wage subsidy program enables eligible Victorian employers to receive a 50% wage subsidy (of up to $7,000 every three months) to hire new apprentices and trainees, including those that previously lost their jobs due to the pandemic. In addition to this, the standard state training incentives could still apply. This works out to be roughly $4,000 plus payroll tax exemptions. Based on this your business could be eligible for up to $32,000 in government subsidies to help get people back to work and developing their skills.


If you are interested in this scheme, please note the following:

 • Eligibility – available to new staff (who have started within the last 3 months) or recommencing apprentice or trainee. There is no cap on the number of eligible apprentices and/or trainees however the worker must be a permanent member of staff.

 • Courses – Must study a Certificate II or higher qualification. Course must be relevant to the industry and the role of the trainee.

 • Deadline – Candidates must be signed up by 31st March 2022 to be eligible. The incentive is paid in quarterly instalments.

 • ​Payment – Each training organisation has different requirements surrounding course payment. Usually these are broken down to a number of payments split across the year but please contact your RTO for more information.


At Fetch we are putting a number of people through the Certificate III in Civil Construction and using a site-based RTO for all training and development. By doing it this way we can have our apprentices working 5 days a week on site for our clients, with minimum disruption to work schedules. All training and assessments are arranged directly with the foreman and in-line with work schedules. By upskilling our staff this way, we are guaranteed to get a stronger more knowledgeable workforce and, in-turn, can ensure our clients are getting the same.


Considering the current availability of trades and labour workers in Victoria, have you considered going down this route for your business?



Phil Underdown is our leading Principal Consultant servicing labour hire across Melbourne's civil construction industry. Connect with him on LinkedIn here.