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First step to a national licensing system for electrical workers

Australian electrical workers are a step closer to having a streamlined, nationally consistent licensing scheme, as consultation on reforms has just begun.

A streamlined, nationally consistent licensing scheme for electrical workers would provide a $22 million annual benefit to the economy, growing to around $120 million after 10 years according to a Regulation Impact Statement.

National licensing would mean electrical workers need only one licence to work anywhere in Australia.

"This reform would boost productivity and labour mobility, which is essential at a time when there is massive jobs growth in the north and west of the country," said Federal Minister for Skills Senator Chris Evans.

"We need reform to make it easier for employers to relocate their skilled workers to areas of high demand and slash the amount of paperwork they need to complete to take on an apprentice.

Having one set of national licences for key trades is a challenging reform but will make it easier for tradies to work across state and territory borders and improve business productivity.

The national system will replace current arrangements where each state and territory regulates an occupational area in a different way. It will streamline the system to ensure electrical workers can take their qualifications and work anywhere in Australia.

Initially, electrical, property, plumbing and gas-fitting and refrigeration and air-conditioning occupations will be included in the reforms before work begins on harmonising licensing for building and building-related occupations.

"The consultation statement is about giving industry, businesses and licence-holders the chance to see where the reform is headed," Senator Evans said.

The Consultation Regulation Impact Statement is aimed at seeking views from licence holders, business and other stakeholders around the country. Information sessions on the proposed changes will be held in all capital cities.

Information about the proposed reforms is available from the National Occupational Licensing Authority's website.

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