Economic support essential for electrical industry

Wednesday, 07 October, 2020

Economic support essential for electrical industry

The latest survey of the electrical and communications contracting industry indicates that the financial impact of COVID-19 has been ongoing.

As a consequence, the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) urged the government to provide strong support for business and apprenticeships in the Budget.

Respondents to NECA’s latest survey have indicated that job pipelines are rapidly drying up, with one in five businesses expecting to run out of work in just one month. Three in four respondents have already applied for government assistance, but are urging the government to do more to ensure businesses can make it through the current crisis.

The most popular measure with respondents was further infrastructure and construction investment (58%), followed by additional support for apprenticeships, through extending subsidies to all business (36%) and supporting mature-age (21 years old and over) apprentices (32%).The backing for apprenticeships comes as leaked data from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment revealed the number of Australians starting apprenticeships and trainees plunged by a fifth over the four months to July compared to the previous year.

“The government has done an excellent job at getting us to this point, but we are not out of the woods yet. As our survey shows, the economic recovery hangs in the balance and what we need now is further support for business so they can make it through this challenging period and rebuild a stronger Australia,” said Lise Sperling, NECA Head of Policy and Government Relations.

“Our Prebudget Submission outlines measures that would help the electrical and communications contracting industry, and businesses more broadly, and it is pleasing to see the government is implementing similar policies, including bringing forward infrastructure spending and backing apprenticeships.

“What’s important is that these initiatives are enacted quickly, so big infrastructure projects can start immediately, creating jobs and protecting existing ones, and money for apprenticeships goes to those training models that work, such as group training organisations.”

Image credit: © Stock Arts

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