The creation of jobs for apprentices should be a main priority for the next ACT government, Master Builders ACT says.
The association has proposed a mandate that 15 per cent of all workers on major ACT government-funded construction projects be apprentices.
It's part of the association's policy wishlist for the next ACT government ahead of the October 17 territory election.
Master Builders ACT also called for targeted support for Canberra businesses, the introduction of best practice building quality reforms, reforms to the planning system and a long-term infrastructure plan.
Master Builders ACT chief executive Michael Hopkins said apprentices were the most vulnerable workers in the industry and the 15 per cent mandate would ensure they received the support and investment needed to help the ACT rebound from the economic consequences of COVID-19.
"A key focus of the campaign is a call to the 2020 ACT election candidates to ensure that the 1025 apprentices employed within the building and construction industry in the ACT receive the support that they deserve," he said.
"In the middle of the COVID recession we are in, we see young apprentices as being a particularly vulnerable group to being made redundant or becoming unemployed."
Mr Hopkins said the government should also fund a pre-apprenticeship program.
"The MBA also wants to see support for a pre-apprenticeship program that will help school-leavers and people displaced from other industries start rewarding careers in the building industry," he said.
"These measures, in conjunction with a sustained effort to raise the profile of trade careers will provide the vocational education system with the boost required to ensure the industry meets skills needs now and in the future."
Mr Hopkins said regulatory burdens needed to be lessened through the cutting of red tape. He also called for the timely implementation of the 24 recommendations in the national 2018 Building Confidence Report. He said this would make working across jurisdictions easier.
"The inconsistent rules that apply across jurisdictions is a particular issue in Canberra because so much of our local industry would work across the NSW-ACT border," he said.
The association also called for the next government to develop a new territory plan.
"I think anyone that has had any experience trying to interact with the territory plan will quickly realise that's no longer fit for purpose," Mr Hopkins said.
Master Builders ACT will heavily publicise its "The Strong Building, Strong Territory" campaign in the lead-up to the October election. Most notably, it will display an electronic billboard out the front of its Fyshwick offices. Mr Hopkins said MBA wanted to ensure the industry had a voice, during one of its "toughest times".