The Federal Government will support local businesses to employ 100,000 new apprentices or trainees as part of the COVID-19 economic recovery plan.
The additional $1.2 billion investment – unveiled in last week’s Federal Budget – grants businesses with a 50 per cent wage subsidy if they take on a new Australian apprentice.
The Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements Package
The Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements package is available to all businesses regardless of their geographic location, occupation, industry or business size – a game changer for businesses in the construction and building sector.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said apprenticeships are an important pathway to get young people into jobs, and to strengthen the skills pipeline that meets the future needs of employers.
“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 Prime Minster said.
The Small Print
There are no limits to the number of apprentices or trainees that employers may choose to support during the program’s tenure. But employers are encouraged to make an application early before the 100,000 limit is reached.
In addition, the 50 per cent wage subsidy for a new or recommencing apprentice or trainee is available for the period up to 30 September 2021, and up to $7,000 per quarter.
The Chief Executive Officer of Master Builders Australia, Denita Wawn said the news is a welcome relief for apprentices, and the broader industry who have been impacted by the COVID-19 global health crisis.
“Young people and building and construction businesses will be big winners from this new 50 per cent wage subsidy,” she said.
Ms Wawn added that it will bring increased confidence to the next generation of apprentices.
“The confidence of building and construction businesses to take on apprentices has been further shaken by the COVID crisis and the Federal Government’s move help will sure up their commitment to invest in the future of their business and the future building industry workforce.
“We know that the building and construction industry takes substantially longer than the rest of the economy to recover from economic down turn and this 50 per cent wage subsidy will give confidence to our sector that it can sustainably continue training its future workforce,” Ms Wawn said.
The Assistant Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships, the Hon Steve Irons MP also said the new measures will build on the Government’s investment to support apprentices and trainees.
“Through the existing Supporting Apprentices and Trainees measure, as many as 90,000 businesses employing around 180,000 apprentices throughout Australia will continue to be supported,” Assistant Minister Irons said.
The subsidy is not available for any apprentice who is currently receiving any other form of Australian Government wage subsidy like the Supporting Apprentices and Trainees package, or JobKeeper.
Businesses who are interested in the scheme are encouraged to read more online.