Government Adds EV Repair And Service Sector To New Energy Apprenticeships Program

The Australian Government will expand the New Energy Apprenticeships Program to include apprentices involved in electric vehicle maintenance. Apprentices will be eligible for up to $10,000 in support over the duration of their apprenticeship to help offset cost-of-living challenges, especially during their first two years. The expanded programme will take effect on 1 June 2024.

“Electric vehicles are a rapidly increasing part of our automotive market, so we’ve made sure that apprentice mechanics learning to work on EVs can access the programme as the industry changes,” said the government.

“This will directly support Australia’s retail automotive sector, building on transition support including charging infrastructure investment through [the] ‘Driving the Nation’ [fund].

Brendan O’Connor, Minister for Skills and Training, said the government must do what it can to address Australia’s acute skills shortage.

“This is a great opportunity for Australians to gain a trade whilst accessing government incentives, as well as doing something tangible for the environment by working in industries that will reduce carbon emissions,” he said.

The MTAA said the expanded programme will encourage more people to consider working in the automotive sector.

“The revised initiative appropriately requires apprentices to have EV exposure during their apprenticeship,” said the MTAA. “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.

While it welcomed the change, the association called on the government to add body shop and motorcycle apprenticeships to the programme.

Matt Hobbs, CEO of the MTAA, said securing government support for members and their workforces is a top priority this year. “We are pleased the government is listening but note there is more to be done,” he added.

“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 Apprenticeships Program and assist businesses and apprentices to access this essential support.”