8 May, 2024

Changes to the apprenticeship program are the right step towards developing an EV-ready workforce

•  Changes to $10,000 green apprentice scheme to attract more auto apprentices to be EV ready.
•  Program assists industry to prepare for over 2 million EVs due on Australian roads by 2030.
•  Announcement complements $60m committed to help the auto retail industry with charging infrastructure.

MTAA welcomes changes made to the New Energy Apprenticeship Program announced today by the Australian Government.

The expansion of the program will encourage more apprentices to consider the dynamic automotive sector as their preferred career choice and enter a profession at the forefront of Australia’s shift to clean energy; servicing and supporting the country’s growing electric vehicle (EV) fleet.

The revised initiative appropriately requires apprentices to have EV exposure during their apprenticeship.

This is a sensible move by the government in supporting the automotive workforce prepare for the biggest transformation to take place in the sector – the shift away from fossil fuels towards electric powertrains.

The change also comes at a point where the industry is readying itself for the impending New Vehicle Efficiency Standard (NVES), which will see Australia implement a light vehicle fuel efficiency standard for the first time, beginning in 2025.

The NVES is expected to broaden the range of zero and low emission vehicles available in Australia,  resulting in a changing mix of vehicles automotive businesses service and repair.

MTAA has previously called for a wide-ranging package of support for automotive businesses and their workforces to transition to an increasingly electrified future, which has implications for training, tooling and facilities as well as the need for charging infrastructure.

Compounding the impacts of the changing technologies supported by automotive businesses is the sector’s growing skill shortage, particularly for technicians with EV expertise, making changes to the incentive scheme even more important.

While automotive electricians and technicians are eligible for the incentive, MTAA calls on the government to include motorcycle technicians, and panel beaters who are already significantly immersed in supporting electric vehicles.

MTAA CEO, Matt Hobbs said: “Securing Government support for our members and their workforces has been a top priority of the MTAA this year. We are pleased the government is listening but note there is more to be done.

We look forward to continuing the discussion with the government on the important role the automotive industry can play in the transition of the economy to a low emission future. The MTAA and its state and territory bodies are now focused on working with their 15,000 members to understand the changes to the New Energy Apprenticeship Program and assist businesses and apprentices to access this essential support.