In October 2020, I announced that as part of the Morrison Government’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan we would invest an additional $1.2 billion to support Australian businesses to employ 100,000 new apprentices or trainees.
In a stunning show of confidence in the Australian economy, these 100,000 new apprenticeship positions have been taken up by businesses across Australia in less than 5 months.
The Government and Australian businesses are backing opportunities for Australians, particularly our young people. I thank each and every business who has given someone the chance to upskill or reskill.
As a Government, we understand that 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. We also understand the implicit costs and risks that businesses take on when employing people that need to be trained on the job.
The overwhelming success of the subsidy is why we are now lifting the cap on places under the program, so that there is no limit on the number of apprentices who can be supported by the measure.
The subsidy remains available to employers of any size or industry, Australia-wide who sign up an Australian apprentice or trainee before 30 September 2021.
I am also pleased to announce that the subsidy will now be paid for a full 12 month period for new apprentices and trainees. This includes those apprentices who have already been signed up under this measure. Employers are eligible for 50 per cent of the wages for a new or recommencing apprentice or trainee, up to $7,000 per quarter.
This extension and expansion of wage support builds on the existing $2.8 billion Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy that is helping employers to retain their apprentices and trainees.
More information on the measure is available at: https://www.employment.gov.au/boosting-apprenticeship-commencements
Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business
Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate
Senator for Western Australia