Support for Our Hard-Working Apprentices and Tradies

9 November 2022

The Andrews Labor Government’s Big Build is driving the creation of thousands of opportunities for our state’s apprentices.

Now, not only are we backing their jobs – we’re delivering much-needed and practical cost of living relief to help Victoria’s apprentices make ends meet.

Apprentices scrimp and save as they start out in their careers. But when you rely on your vehicle to do your job every day, the price of fuel, insurance and rego can really add up.

To back our hard-working apprentices and tradies with the targeted support they need, a re-elected Labor Government will:

Bricklayers, carpenters, joiners, electricians, plumbers and chefs are among the Victorian apprentices expected to be eligible for fully free rego, if their employer can verify that the use of their vehicle is an essential part of their work. 

Apprentices who need their car for work are currently entitled to a 50 per cent discount on their rego that saves them $432 per year – this change would make rego fully free, a saving of up to $865 per year.

Registration fees help to pay for road infrastructure and fund the important work of the Transport Accident Commission – but we know they can be a big hit to household budgets. 

That’s why we acted to make car rego more affordable, introducing short term registration and allowing Victorian families to split the cost of rego fees into smaller payments. 

It’s also critical to ensure apprentices have fair and safe workplaces as they get their start in their careers.

Labor will establish an Apprenticeships Taskforce, which will be co-designed and include workers, unions and industry to ensure the lived experiences of apprentices are at the heart of its work. 

The taskforce will consider:

The taskforce will report directly to the Minister for Training and Skills and the Minister for Industrial Relations and outcomes will be delivered in partnership with unions and industry, including legislation if necessary.

Too often in the construction industry, subbies are spending hours chasing payments for work they have completed – and sometimes they don't get paid at all.

That’s why Labor will crack down on bosses and contractors who refuse to pay their sub-contractors for completed works, establishing a parliamentary inquiry to determine how to fix this issue for hardworking tradies.

This work builds on our recent announcement that a re-elected Labor Government will invest $4 million to establish a new mental health training program for apprentices of all trades.

Matthew Guy’s Liberals cannot be trusted to protect and support Victorians undertaking apprenticeships and traineeships, their jobs or their livelihood.

When they were last in government, Matthew Guy’s Liberals gutted our TAFE and skills sector, ripping more than $1 billion in funding from TAFE – closing 22 campuses and sacking 3,000 staff.

They’ve also promised to “audit” all major infrastructure projects and cut the Suburban Rail Loop – projects that create tens of thousands of jobs for Victorians, particularly tradies and construction workers.

Only Labor will do what matters by delivering the projects and support that are critical to the livelihoods and wellbeing of our apprentices and tradies.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews:

“Apprentices are the lifeblood of our Big Build – working hard to deliver the road, rail, schools and hospitals Victorians need. And they deserve a government that backs them.”

“We know too many tradies are experiencing wage theft or losing too much time chasing late payments for jobs. It’s unacceptable and Labor will do something about it – because only Labor is doing what matters.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney:

“When it comes to our apprentices and their jobs, Matthew Guy’s record is clear. Their savage cuts when last in government left our TAFE and training system in turmoil – and thousands of Victorians without jobs.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Narre Warren South Gary Maas:

“This announcement is great news for our local apprentice tradies and recognises their hard work in delivering our major projects, infrastructure investments, schools and roads.”

“Delivering fully free registration for eligible apprentices is another opportunity to help with the cost of living – saving up to $865 per year.”

”The Apprenticeship Taskforce sees Labor continuing to back tradies in our community with proper consideration of fairness, pay, entitlements and safety.”