What is the Australian Skills Guarantee (ASG)?

The Australian Skills Guarantee (ASG) is a government initiative mandating that a specified percentage of work hours on major government-funded projects be dedicated to apprentices, trainees, and cadets. This policy aims to bolster workforce skills, create employment opportunities, and address skill shortages in critical industries. By incorporating this requirement, employers can ensure compliance with government contracts and contribute to the development of a skilled workforce.

Changes from 1 July 2024

Commencing on 1 July 2024, ASG targets will apply to new Commonwealth tender processes for major building and construction, facilities management (construction), and information and communications technology (ICT) procurements with a total contract value of $10 million or more.

For each major construction project, suppliers will be contractually obliged to ensure that a minimum percentage of all labour hours spent on the project are undertaken by apprentices and trainees from this date.

These changes symbolise a shift towards greater support for apprentices, trainees, paid cadets, and women in the Australian workforce, particularly in industries like construction and ICT. For your business, this implies that if you engage in Commonwealth-funded projects valued at $10 million or more, you will need to adhere to these new targets:

  • At least 10% of all labour hours must be completed by apprentices or trainees.
  • At least 6% of these apprentice/trainee hours must be completed by women.
  • At least 4% of trade-specific apprentice/trainee hours must be completed by women.

To ensure sustainable change, these targets for women will increase by one percentage point annually, aiming for 12% in apprenticeships and traineeships, and 10% in trade apprenticeships and traineeships by 2030.

In the case of major ICT projects, targets will be determined on a project-specific basis, allowing for flexibility to accommodate the unique nature of each project.

In summary, these changes underscore the government's dedication to fostering inclusivity and skill development in key sectors of the economy. As a business, it is imperative to familiarise yourself with these requirements and ensure compliance when bidding for or undertaking Commonwealth-funded projects after July 1, 2024.

For more information visit Australian Skills Guarantee - Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, Australian Government (dewr.gov.au)