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Employers to receive wage subsidy for apprenticeships


The Federal Government has pledged $1.2 billion to create 100,000 apprenticeships and traineeships across Australia as part of its COVID-19 recovery plan.

Until 30 September next year, businesses that employ a new Australian apprentice will receive a 50 per cent wage subsidy, up to $7000 per quarter.

Employers of any size or industry in Australia are eligible for the subsidy, with the subsidies rolling out until the 100,000 apprenticeship cap is reached.

The $1.2 billion adds to the existing $2.8 billion Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy and the $1 billion JobTrainer program, taking the total commitments to $5 billion.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the apprenticeships would kickstart the careers of young people in industries such as construction and mining.

“During this pandemic, the Federal Government has been focused on supporting and creating jobs as well as identifying the skills we need in the economic rebuild,” he said.

“Already 760,000 jobs that were either lost or reduced to zero hours as the COVID crisis hit have come back into our economy. We want to continue to recover what has been lost and get young people into work.

“Whether it’s the manufacturing, housing and construction, arts or mining sectors – this new wage subsidy gives businesses certainty to hire and provides a career path to aspiring, young tradies.”

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) welcomed the announcement and stated that it will help restore Australian apprenticeships.

“This is the right prescription to restore the health of the apprenticeship system, given the considerable wage subsidy investment already made in apprentice retention,” ACCI chief executive officer James Pearson said. “It comes at the right time, when restrictions are being eased, and will encourage businesses looking to take on more people to take on apprentices.

“As apprenticeships require a longer-term investment in skills development, this wage subsidy will tip the balance in favour for many employers to make the commitment to developing the skills for the future.

“Apprenticeships and traineeships have long been ACCI’s number one skills priority, and along with the promise to deliver real growth in the overall investment in vocational education and training, this move to breathe more life into the highly valuable apprenticeship model comes at a critical time,” Pearson added.

“The COVID crisis has dealt a heavy blow, particularly to young people. Apprenticeships and traineeships are a great pathway for those seeking their first full time job. It delivers structured training, alongside valuable workplace experience, and a national recognised qualification.”

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