The state’s consumer watchdog is reducing red tape and simplifying processes for tradespeople and apprentices, under new reforms to occupational licensing that come into effect on January 1.
Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, Dini Soulio, said Consumer and Business Services (CBS) is making a number of improvements to the current occupational licensing system, which include streamlining and fast tracking the issuing of licence cards to all apprentices and introducing a new entry point for plumbing, gas fitting, electrical and building apprentices who have completed a trade.
“I am pleased to announce CBS and the Department of State Development (DSD) will begin to share electronic information in the new year, which will significantly cut red tape for apprentices and employers,” the Commissioner said.
“This means apprentice plumbers, gasfitters or electricians who register are no longer required to contact CBS separately to apply for a licence and will now automatically receive a licence card at the commencement of their apprenticeship.
“Upon completion of an apprenticeship, CBS will also electronically send a pre-filled application form to the apprentice, which will ensure a faster and more efficient way of applying and receiving their trade licence.
“This follows recommendations of a previous 90-day project and demonstrates how the reform agenda continues to be progressed beyond the 90-day time frame.
“In addition, for employers and consumers to easily identify apprentices, new-look apprentice cards have been developed by CBS and will be issued in 2016.
“The cards will be easily recognisable with a yellow background and will specify the type of work that can be performed by the apprentice.”
Under the new reforms, the entry point for licensing of plumbers, gasfitters, electricians and building tradespeople will also change.
From 1 January 2016, to be eligible for a trade licence an applicant must have completed an approved trade apprenticeship (which includes a Certificate III).
“This will be a benefit to both consumers and employers, ensuring our future tradespeople have received greater training and experience in their field before being issued a licence,” Mr Soulio said.
“However applicants who have already completed a Certificate III in a licensed trade that was issued on or before 31 December 2015 will continue to be eligible for a trade licence.
“CBS are also currently looking at ways to simplify the title of some licence categories for plumbers to better enhance community safety and awareness, with plans to introduce the improvements to industry in the new year.”
For more information on South Australian occupational and trade licences please call 131 882 or visit the new CBS website.