TV tradie Scott Cam will be paid $345,000 for a 15-month government contract, a Senate committee has heard.
The host of The Block earlier this year inked a deal to become the federal government’s national careers ambassador in a bid to get more young people on the tools.
Department of Employment and Skills officials told a spillover estimates hearing on Thursday Mr Cam would be paid $260,000 in this financial year and $85,000 in 2020-21. The figures exclude GST.
The role will see the Gold Logie winner work with the National Careers Institute, alongside government, industry, education providers, career advisors, parents and employers to improve career options.
His appointment was announced by Employment Minister Michaelia Cash in October as part of a $585.3 million package to help train highly skill and qualified workers.
But the government would not reveal his pay at the time, arguing the contract was “commercial in confidence”.
Following the revealation in estimates, Labor Senator Louise Pratt questioned whether the appointment was an attempt to “paper over and distract” from cuts to the sector.
“I guess I’m concerned that you’ve got someone like Scott Cam promoting vocational education at the same time as there are significant cuts to vocational education,” she said.
The question was quickly shut down by Senator Cash, who said Mr Cam would be a role model for others considering vocational careers.
“The appointment of Scott Cam is obviously to highlight the value of vocational education and training as an opportunity to provide an incredibly rewarding career,” she said.
Cam is a qualified carpenter who ran his own business before shooting to fame as he rode the juggernaut of TV home improvement shows.