Government offers incentives to hire apprentices
The federal government is encouraging employers in regional and rural communities to engage apprentices with a $60 million trial wage subsidy starting on 1 January 2019.
Announced by the Minister for Small and Family Business, Skills and Vocational Education, Michaelia Cash, the Australian Apprentice Wage Subsidy trial will support Australian apprentices in areas such as electrical and mechanical trades.
Subsidies will be provided in the first three years of an apprenticeship: 75% of the first year award wage, followed by 50% in the second year and 25% in the third year.
“Through this incentive we are securing the skills our regional and rural businesses need to remain competitive and give local students new opportunities at home,” said Minister Cash.
The subsidy was supported by the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA), which has emphasised the importance of vocational education and training and the need to promote trades career pathways.
“This is welcome news for the electrotechnology sector and will help address the current and future shortage of quality electrical apprentices Australia is facing, particularly in rural and regional areas,” said NECA CEO Suresh Manickam.
“NECA believes that quality education, skills and training initiatives are critical for the development and long-term future of the electrical trade. This investment will support local communities and family-run businesses while opening opportunities for young people to pursue a career in the trades.
“It is encouraging to see the government making a commitment to support business needs and build a quality workforce. We look forward to the outcome of what is an encouraging trial.”
The wage subsidy is in addition to the incentives available to employers under the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program.
Eligibility criteria dictates that apprentices will be employed at Certificate II, III, IV, Diploma or Advanced Diploma level, and employers must not have previously engaged apprentices, or at least not in the last three years. For more information about the criteria, click here.
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