The Albanese Government wants to broaden Australia’s skilled workforce in clean energy sectors.

The government has unveiled significant expansions to the New Energy Apprenticeships Program.

It says it is part of its commitment to transitioning to a net zero economy and fostering a ‘Future Made in Australia’.

Effective from 1 June 2024, the program modifications address practical challenges identified by industry stakeholders. 

These adjustments aim to facilitate greater flexibility in apprentice participation across various sectors, including housing construction, automotive, and advanced manufacturing. 

Notably, the requirement for an apprentice’s work to be solely dedicated to clean energy has been removed, although the apprenticeship’s primary focus must remain on clean energy training.

In addition to expanding eligible apprenticeship fields to incorporate roles such as designing hydroelectricity systems, solar and battery installations, and electric vehicle maintenance, the program now also supports apprentice mechanics specialising in electric vehicles (EVs). 

This decision reflects the growing prominence of EVs in the automotive market and aligns with broader government efforts, such as the Driving the Nation initiative, which invests in EV charging infrastructure.

Apprentices can receive up to $10,000 over their training period, aimed at alleviating the cost-of-living challenges faced during the initial years of apprenticeship. 

The program now includes support for 40 different occupations, demonstrating the government's commitment to nurturing a workforce capable of supporting the country’s clean energy transition.

Since its inception last year, over 2,210 apprentices have enrolled in the program.

More detailed information about the New Energy Apprenticeships can be found on the official apprenticeships website.