Trade licensing: the national licensing system has been cancelled, so what next?


The Victorian newspaper ‘The Age’ recently ran a story on foreign workers being exploited on building sites in Melbourne. When a company scrutinised qualifications of 50 contractors, 48 were deemed non-compliant because they were unlicensed, licences they had were fraudulent, they didn’t have insurance  or working under other peoples contractors licences. I dont think this issue is limited to Victoria, or just to foreign workers.

Licensing is a contentious issue. Under the previous Government, national licensing laws were being set up. The driver for this was the inconsistent approach states have for licensing tradies. It also meant that tradies were required to apply for licences in each state they worked in. This may not seem like a big issue in Adelaide, but if you were in Albury – Wodonga, or even working in the Wimmera, you would be assessed for licensing in different ways, and required to pay fees each time. The new government has now scrapped the idea of national licensing. Nothing has been proposed to fix the critical issues that were identified as:

  • improved business efficiency and the competitiveness of the national economy;
  • reduced red tape;
  • improved labour mobility;
  • enhanced productivity; and
  • enhanced consumer confidence and protection without imposing unnecessary costs or lessening competition

If you have experience in the building industry, and you can prove your knowledge of standards and codes, you can now apply for a contractors license online through Consumer and Business Services. You need to provide references, a work history, a police check and proof you have completed 2 mandatory business subjects on legal requirements & small business finance. FCTA will be running a course on these 2 subjects in May. To book a place call us on 8367 5615.