The National Apprentice Employment Network (NAEN) today welcomed the federal Coalition’s promise to extend the apprentice wage subsidy trial to another 1600 apprenticeships.
Prime Minister Scott Morison and the Minister for Skills and Vocational Education Senator Michaelia Cash announced that, if re-elected, the government will double the program, adding another $60m in funding which will support an extra 1600 apprentice places.
The trial was originally announced last October and provided incentives to regional employers who took on apprentices in skill shortage areas. It is available to employers who have not previously employed apprentices.
Eligible employers are able to receive payments based on the apprentice’s relevant award wage. Subsidies are provided at 75 per cent of the apprentice’s award wage in the first year, 50 per cent in the second year and 25 per cent in the third year.
The National Executive Officer of NAEN Dianne Dayhew said the extension of the trial would be welcomed by group training organisations as a positive measure to lift apprenticeships.
“The scheme applies to employers who have not engaged with the apprenticeship system in the past, so there is the opportunity for employers, especially SMEs, to see the benefits of apprenticeships and, for some, to develop an ongoing training culture,” Ms Dayhew said.
Group training organisations were originally excluded from the current program but following consultations, GTOs have been allocated 10 per cent of the total apprentice places.
“It is encouraging to see both the Coalition and Labor taking positive steps to help restore the apprenticeship and traineeship system, which is going to play a central role in skilling the future workforce and provide a rewarding pathway for so many young Australians,” Ms Dayhew said.
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