Media Release - MBA Calls For A Business Friendly Government In Launch Of Election Priorities

Posted 8 September 2020

Media Release - MBA Calls For A Business Friendly Government In Launch Of Election Priorities

Master Builders ACT has today launched its election campaign calling for a business friendly government to support the almost 20,000 Canberrans employed in the construction industry through the COVID-19 induced recession.

Master Builders ACT CEO, Michael Hopkins said, “The Master Builders Strong Building, Strong Territory campaign will ensure that the issues that matter to our industry are at the forefront of all political parties’ agendas.”

“The campaign calls on all candidates to focus on four job creating policy areas; supporting local businesses, building skilled and secure careers in the construction industry, introducing best practice building quality reforms, and implementing a best practice planning system supported by a long term infrastructure plan,” he said.

Mr Hopkins said, “A key focus of the campaign is a call to the 2020 ACT election candidates to ensure that the 1,025 apprentices employed within the building and construction industry in the ACT receive the support that they deserve.”

“We’re calling on the next ACT Government to mandate at least 15% of all workers on major ACT funded projects be apprentices or trainees,” he said.  

Mr Hopkins said, “This will ensure that our most vulnerable workers in the industry receive the support and investment that they require to be able to lead the ACT out of the COVID-19 induced recession that we are now facing.”

“Investment in the future of the ACT’s building and construction industry has never been more critical than now. The future of the industry relies on the thousands of school leavers and young people completing a construction based apprenticeship,” he said.  

Mr Hopkins said, “In January this year, the ACT Government made far reaching cuts to VET funding without consultation or warning. Only reversed as part of the Government’s COVID stimulus payments, these cuts sent a shock wave through local training providers, who rely on a sustainable level of funding to deliver quality training to apprentices.”

“It is vital that candidates commit to the continuation of full funding for vocational education and independent training providers,” he said.

Mr Hopkins said, “The MBA also wants to see support for a pre-apprenticeship programme that will help school leavers and people displaced from other industries start rewarding careers in the building industry.”

“These measures, in conjunction with a sustained effort to raise the profile of trade careers, will provide the vocational education system with the boost required to ensure the industry meets skills needs now and in the future,” he said.  

Mr Hopkins said, “The Strong Building, Strong Territory campaign provides our members and the industry a voice at this years’ ACT election to ensure their concerns are heard during one of the toughest times our industry has faced.”

View the Master Builders ACT 2020 ACT Election Priorities in further detail here.

Authorised by Michael Hopkins on behalf of Master Builders Association of the ACT.

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