Australian Skills Guarantee

The Australian Skills Guarantee (Skills Guarantee) will use government investment in major projects to help train the next generation of skilled workers. The Skills Guarantee is a key commitment under the Australian Government’s Secure Australian Jobs Plan.

The Skills Guarantee will introduce new national targets for apprentices, trainees and paid cadets working on Australian Government funded major projects.

The Skills Guarantee will also introduce national targets for women to increase the proportion of women working on major projects and drive long term sustainable change to reduce gender segregation in the apprenticeship system.

Skills Guarantee Procurement Connected Policy

The key mechanism to implement the Skills Guarantee is through the Skills Guarantee Procurement Connected Policy (PCP). The Skills Guarantee PCP applies from 1 July 2024 to direct Commonwealth procurements in the construction and information and communication technology (ICT) sectors.

Skills Guarantee at a glance (for direct Commonwealth procurements)

The Skills Guarantee will initially apply to direct Commonwealth procurements in the construction and ICT sectors, where the total contract value is $10 million or more.

Major Construction Projects

Major construction projects (projects with a total contract value of $10 million or more) will be required to meet the following targets:

  • Overarching apprentice target: a minimum of 10% of all labour hours to be undertaken by apprentices/trainees.
  • Overarching apprentice target for women: a minimum of 6% of all apprentice/trainee labour hours to be undertaken by women.
  • Trade-specific apprentice target for women: a minimum of 4% of trade apprentice/trainee labour hours to be undertaken by women.

To drive sustainable change, the targets for women for major construction projects will increase annually by one percentage point, reaching a minimum of 12% for women in apprenticeships and traineeships and 10% for women in trade apprenticeships and traineeships in 2030.

Targets applyOverarching apprentice target for womenTrade-specific apprentice target for women
1 July 2024 to 30 June 20256.0%4.0%
1 July 2025 to 30 June 20267.0%5.0%
1 July 2026 to 30 June 20278.0%6.0%
1 July 2027 to 30 June 20289.0%7.0%
1 July 2028 to 30 June 202910.0%8.0%
1 July 2029 to 30 June 203011.0%9.0%
1 July 2030 onwards12.0%10.0%

Major ICT Projects

The Skills Guarantee will apply to direct Commonwealth procurements in the ICT sector, with a total contract value of $10 million or more. Initially, targets for apprentices, trainees and paid cadets, and targets for women, will be negotiated with suppliers on a project-by-project basis.

Flagship Construction Projects

Flagship construction projects (projects with a total contract value of $100 million or more in the construction sector) will be required to propose more ambitious targets for women.

Suppliers of flagship construction projects will be required to meet the following requirements:

  • Meet the targets that apply to major construction projects.
  • Propose and meet higher targets for women.
  • Prepare a Gender Equality Action Plan outlining how targets will be achieved.

A factsheet on these key elements of the Skills Guarantee is available.

Next Steps

Targets will apply to direct Commonwealth projects from 1 July 2024.

Ongoing engagement with the sector is critical to the success of the Skills Guarantee. The department will continue to engage with stakeholders as the Skills Guarantee is implemented.

Public Consultation

The department thanks those organisations and individuals who gave their time and provided feedback in the development of the Skills Guarantee PCP.

For information on the earlier Discussion Paper consultation process, please visit Skills Guarantee Consultation.

Other Skills Guarantee implementation approaches

While the Skills Guarantee PCP will only apply to direct Commonwealth procurements in Construction and ICT, we are also working across the Government to apply the Skills Guarantee to:

  • the National Housing Accord,
  • the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games,
  • the Federation Funding Agreement Schedule (formerly the National Partnership Agreement on Land Transport Infrastructure Projects).