2022/23 AUSSIE BUDGET BREAKDOWN FOR TRADIES

 

Treasurer Jim Chalmers handed down the Commonwealth budget for 2022/23 on Tuesday 25th October and there are a few wins in it for the Trades and Construction Sector. Below we explain the key points that will affect Australian Tradies.

 

INVESTMENT IN TAFE

TAFEs across Australia were a big winner in the budget with a much-needed $50 million in funds allocated to modernise IT facilities and workshops over the next two years. A further $6.8 million has been budgeted to improve critical data infrastructure.

More Australians will be encouraged to learn a trade with 480,000 fee-free TAFE and vocational education places becoming available from January 1, 2023 under the National Skills Agreement. The $1.1 billion investment is funded by both the federal and state governments to address the long-term drop in trade apprenticeship numbers and is targeted to priority occupations, many of which are included in the Trades and Construction sector.

 

“Providing 180,000 places next year — the first stage in our plan for nearly half a million fee-free TAFE courses for Australians — learning skills for jobs in priority areas” Dr Chalmers said. “While the interim agreement operates throughout 2023, the government and all states and territories will work together to improve the VET sector, including by delivering a further 300,000 fee-free places from 2024,”

 

Australian Apprenticeships Priority List:

  • Air conditioning and Mechanical Services Plumber
  • Air conditioning and Refrigeration
  • Mechanic Arborist
  • Bricklayer
  • Cabinetmaker
  • Carpenter
  • Carpenter and Joiner
  • Electrician
  • Plasterer
  • Floor Finisher
  • Gasfitter
  • Glazier
  • Landscape Gardener
  • Locksmith
  • Metal Fabricator
  • Painting Trades Worker
  • Plumber
  • Stonemason
  • Tiler

 

View the full list of priority Australian Apprenticeships here.

 

NEW ENERGY APPRENTICESHIP

With a big focus on clean energy and renewables, the government announced it will invest $100 million into a New Energy Apprenticeship program over the next nine years to tailor skills training to the specific needs of new energy industries.

New energy apprentices will be able to claim a support payment of up to $10,000 across the full term of apprenticeships in six-monthly installments. This includes $2000 on commencement, $2000 a year for three years, and $2000 at completion. $9.6 million has been allocated to create a new mentoring program to train the new energy apprentices over the next five years.

 

WORKFORCE SHORTAGES

We are all very aware of the workforce shortage crisis. In this budget, the government will create a new independent body called Jobs and Skills Australia. They will deliver a detailed labour market analysis and workforce planning in conjunction with the states and territories, employers, unions and training providers to improve workforce numbers in priority occupations.

In the meantime, the government will increase Australia’s permanent Migration Program to 195,000 in 2022/23 and accelerate visa processing in a bid to entice more high-skilled migrants to Australian shores at a cost of $42.2 million. Work restrictions for student visa holders and secondary training visa holders will also be relaxed until 30 June 2023.  

 

REGIONAL INTERNET

The 2022/23 budget includes a commitment from the government to improve mobile, broadband and Wi-Fi connectivity in regional and rural Australia. $2.4 billion will be invested into the Nation Broadband Network to provide faster internet via NBN full fibre access to about 1.5 million regional and rural premises including 660,000 homes.

An additional $4.7m over three years will fund the delivery of free broadband for up to 30,000 unconnected families with school-aged students during the 2023 calendar year.

 

INVESTMENT IN HOUSING

To tackle Australia’s housing affordability crisis, the Federal government announced the National Housing Accord, an agreement to deliver one million new homes over five years from 2024 at an investment of $350 million.

This is on top of the 30,000 new social and affordable homes already committed to during the election campaign through the creation of a Housing Australia Future Fund.

 

CHILDCARE

Parents will benefit from the budget with $4.7 billion allocated over four years toward reducing the cost of childcare to allow more parents to re-enter the workforce. From July 2023 families who earn a household income of less than $530,000 will see their childcare subsidy rate increase. Families who earn less than $80,000 will see their total childcare subsidy rate increase from 85 percent to 90 percent for the first child in care.

From July 1, 2024, the paid parental leave scheme will increase by two additional weeks a year until it reaches 26 weeks of leave by July 2026. To be eligible for the paid parental leave scheme, couples will be assessed on a combined income of up to $350,000.
 

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

The government is pushing for the uptake of Electric Vehicles by investing $500 million in a Driving the Nation Fund which will invest in new infrastructure such as building a national electric vehicle charging network and hydrogen refueling stations on 117 Australian highway sites.

A $345 million Electric Car Discount was launched which will make the purchase of eligible electric cars exempt from the 5 percent import tariff and fringe benefits tax.

 

And that brings us to the bad news…

 

ELECTRICITY PRICE HIKES

Australians have been warned to brace for energy price hikes with the budget forecasting a 20% rise in 2023 followed by 30% more in 2024. Retail gas prices are also expected to rise 20% in both years primarily thanks to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This will hurt many Aussie families as the cost of living pressures increase.

 

View the complete Federal budget for 2022/23 here.

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