New South Wales Procurement Board

NSW Procurement Board Direction

PBD-2016-02 Construction apprenticeships


NSW Government agencies must set targets for the engagement of apprentices and trainees on construction projects over $10 million and must report outcomes to the Department of Industry.

Function and Subject

Procurement (1)

Detailed Outline

NSW Government expenditure on construction, particularly transport infrastructure, will be at historically high levels in the period to 2020. This provides a unique opportunity to grow skills and employment in the industry now - so the industry has resources available to continue growing the NSW economy. The NSW Procurement Board has asked every NSW Government agency with a major construction program to publish and maintain a Construction Skills Development Plan. This plan will identify skills needs arising from the agency’s forward construction program. The plan will also explain the strategies or programs that the agency is using to address skills shortages.

To ensure skills development goals are established for all relevant government construction projects, the NSW Procurement Board directs that all NSW Government agencies must:

  • identify a target for the engagement of apprentices or trainees for every construction contract valued over $10 million
  • include the target in project requirements provided to potential contractors, including tender documentation
  • consider the capacity of a potential contractor to meet these requirements when assessing proposals and awarding a contract, including a contractor's previous performance
  • require a contractor to contractually commit to reporting on at least a quarterly basis on the engagement of apprentices and trainees on the contracted work and achievement against the project target 
  • report on a quarterly basis to the Department of Industry on the engagement of apprentices and trainees reported by contractors.

The target identified for a contract may vary according to the project, the type of construction work being done and skills needs identified by an agency. Apprentices and trainees can be engaged directly by a contractor, by sub-contractors or through other arrangements such as group training companies. A default target of one apprentice for every four trades persons should be used if an agency does not have sufficient information to set a specific target.

The Department of Industry will establish and publish requirements and administrative arrangements for quarterly reporting by agencies in consultation with NSW Procurement. 

NSW Procurement will publish model provisions for tender documentation and project contracts which agencies can use when complying with these requirements.

This Direction applies for all proposed construction projects valued over $10 million and released after 30 April 2016 to potential contractors for submission of a proposal.

The NSW Procurement Board will review this Direction after it has been operation for 12 months.


Part 11, Public Works and Procurement Act 1912



Who needs to know and/or comply with this?

Executive agencies related to Departments
Advisory Entities (including Boards and Committees)
Separate agencies
Statutory Authorities/Bodies

AR Details

Date Issued
Mar 30, 2016
Review Date
Apr 30, 2017
Replaced By


1800 679 289
Publishing Entity
Department of Finance, Services and Innovation
Issuing Entity
New South Wales Procurement Board