Master Builders Australia has defended the current state of the building and construction apprenticeship before a Fair Work Australia tribunal, saying that the proposed wage changes by the CFMEU will make it the system unviable.


“Master Builders strongly supports reforms to improve building trade apprentice retention rates, but the CFMEU’s claim to dramatically increase wages and restrict the work apprentices can undertake presents a significant cost risk for employers and the apprenticeship system,” Mr Harnisch said.


“The apprenticeship system is a valuable tool to teach people the skills required to succeed in the building industry. It’s an important learning process that has to be done through formal training and on site education, which is costly.


“The CFMEU’s proposal has the potential to threaten apprentice retention by making the engagement of apprentices completely unaffordable. It lacks an understanding of the challenges facing employers.”