"Ai Group welcomes the announcement today by the Federal Government of a significant boost to the development and supply of skilled workers for the construction sector. A strong skills pipeline is essential to meet the demands of the construction sector and the ambition to increase housing supply," Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the national employer association Ai Group said today.
"Funding for an additional 15,000 TAFE and VET fee-free places and 5,000 pre-apprenticeships over two years from 1 January 2025 will help grow and sustain the skills pipeline.
"We welcome the announcement of $1.8 million to streamline skills assessments for approximately 1,900 potential migrants from countries with comparable qualifications who want to work in Australia's residential and commercial construction sectors. This includes the processing of around 2,600 Trades Recognition Australia (TRA) skills assessments in targeted occupations. 
"Skills assessments for prospective migrants have become excruciatingly slow and often take many months due to a large backlog and the sole approval path being through TRA. Expanding access to potential skilled migrants is an important strategy to ensuring a strong and relevant supply of skills in a timely manner and hopefully the additional investment will help clear that backlog," Mr Willox said.

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