The Federal Government has officially launched its $57.5 Kickstart initiative aimed at encouraging Western Australian employers to take on new apprentices to help address the State's growing trade skill shortage.


Federal Minister for Skills, Senator Chris Evans, said the program would see an extra 21,000 construction trade apprentices enter the workforce by tripling incentives paid to employers.


Under the program, an additional $3,350 will be paid to employers who take on a new apprentice between now and 28 February 2013. This is in addition to the $1,500 commencement payment for eligible employers.


Senator Evans said this round of Kickstart was designed to boost the number of qualified workers in the construction industry, ahead of the predicted upturn in 2014 and 2015. The WA building and construction industry has warned a lack of qualified tradespeople could lead to a delay for new homes.


"The need for skilled tradespeople in the housing sector will continue to grow and it is important we start training Australians in those skills now," Senator Evans said.


"Employers can use Kickstart to tap into the pool of Year 12 students who have recently finished school and thinking about their plans for next year," Senator Evans said.


"With the WA property industry crying out for more skilled workers, there is no better time to take on an apprentice.


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