The Federal Government plans to invest an additional $1.2 billion to support Australian business to employ 100,000 new apprentices or trainees as part of its COVID-19 economic recovery plan.
From 5 October 2020, businesses who take on a new Australian apprentice will be eligible for a 50 per cent wage subsidy, regardless of geographic location, occupation, industry or business size.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said apprenticeships are an important pathway to get young people into jobs and to ensure there is a skills pipeline to meet the future needs of employers.
“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,” Mr Morrison 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 subsidy will be available to employers of any size or industry, Australia-wide who engage an Australian apprentice or trainee from 5 October 2020 until the 100,000 cap is reached.
Under the new measure, employers will be eligible for 50 per cent of the wages for a new or recommencing apprentice or trainee for the period up to 30 September 2021, up to $7,000 per quarter.
Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said the measure builds on the existing $2.8 billion Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy that is helping employers to retain their apprentices and trainees.
“The Australian Government has already invested significantly to ensure that apprentices are retained where possible and supported to re-engage if they lose their job,” Minister Cash said.
Assistant Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships, the Hon Steve Irons MP, added that the new measures announced this week will build on the already significant 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.
Master Builders Australia (MBA) CEO, Denita Wawn, said young people and building and construction businesses will be big winners from this new 50 per cent wage subsidy.
“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 will help sure up their commitment to invest in the future of their business and the future building industry workforce,” she said.
“We know that the building and construction industry takes substantially longer than the rest of the economy to recover from an economic downturn and this 50 per cent wage subsidy will give confidence to our sector that it can sustainably continue training its future workforce.”