Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (14:22): My question is to the Minister for Innovation and Skills. Can the minister advise how Skilling South Australia has delivered more jobs for the construction, mining and energy sectors?
The Hon. D.G. PISONI (Unley—Minister for Innovation and Skills) (14:22): I thank the member for Hammond; I know how much he supports apprenticeships and traineeships. As a matter of fact, we will be celebrating the success of apprentices in the Murraylands with an awards night coming up very soon.
The Marshall Liberal government's success under our Skilling South Australia program continues to deliver meaningful outcomes, changing lives through targeted training support and jobs for more South Australians. This is a reform process we began soon after coming into office. This is not something that is post COVID, it is not something because of COVID: we identified the need for more skills in South Australia and we got on with that job immediately on coming to office.
A monthly snapshot for April shows that apprenticeships in the construction, mining and energy sector have grown a massive 34 per cent, an increase to now of 1,035 new jobs in that sector through apprenticeships. More importantly, these are paid apprenticeships that will deliver new skills into this workforce that is crying out for more skilled labour.
These are extraordinary figures, providing the opportunity for young people and jobseekers to earn while they learn and, of course, to go on to earn very good salaries as well as creating pathways to their own businesses and working for themselves. The three occupations with the highest increase in commencements were electricians, plumbers and carpenters, and how often do you see a sole trader with a ladder and a tube for electrical cord on the side of their van, living their own life and enjoying what they're doing because of the skills they have learned during their apprenticeship?
There is no doubt that this success in job creation through skills training is as a result of the Marshall government's training reforms and of course the intervention and response to COVID-19. With the HomeBuilder incentive, 10 per cent of those grants for HomeBuilder were here in South Australia. That released an enormous amount of private money into the sector, stimulating jobs.
The Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements program is now extended until March 2022; and the South Australian Group Training Boost support reduces the cost for host employers to take on apprentices and trainees for the first six months of their apprenticeship. Of course, if you employ an apprentice directly, there are payroll tax exemptions in doing that.
There is more support through a range of new incentives through the Construction Industry Training Board. The Construction Industry Training Board has responded to the need to increase substantially apprentices and trainees in that sector, and they have spoken to their sector and delivered even more incentives to support employers to take on apprentices and trainees. This is something that is very different in this government from previous governments.
We have identified that there is a cost to on-the-job training, so we are partners with industry, with businesses, with their on-the-job training. We are ensuring that the 160 bespoke programs that we have designed using the extra funding on top of the Subsidised Training List to support apprentices and trainees is used to remove barriers and bring enablers in for businesses so that they can employ apprentices.
Because of that, 2,200 new businesses have taken on apprentices and trainees for the first time since the rollout of Skilling South Australia. We have worked with them, we have identified those barriers and we have convinced them to give it a go, and guess what? They are loving it. They are enjoying the benefits their businesses are getting by taking on apprentices and trainees. This government is developing new and more paid pathways into rewarding careers.