New South Wales Procurement Board
NSW Procurement Board Direction
PBD 2017-05

PBD-2017-05 Construction training and skills development


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.


The NSW Government infrastructure program creates a unique opportunity to grow skills and employment in the NSW community.  

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

  • 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 in meeting the requirements
  • ensure contractors contractually commit to reporting on at least a quarterly basis on the engagement of apprentices and trainees on the project 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 performed and the skill requirements 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. 

If an agency does not have sufficient information to set specific targets for a project, the following targets should be used:

  • one apprentice for every four trades persons¬† for general construction work; and
  • ten percent of the total labour costs being applied to apprentices and learning workers combined, for civil construction work.