Young apprentices and small business benefit from bush wage subsidy trial

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The Liberal Government will invest $60 million to trial a wage subsidy as an incentive for employers in regional and rural communities to engage more apprentices.

Federal Member for Pearce, Christian Porter, said the trial would see up to 1,630 new Australian Apprentices in areas of skills needs.

“Small business plays a vital role in our community, from giving young Australians their first real job to supporting our local charities and sporting organisations,” Mr Porter said.

“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.”

From 1 January 2019, the new subsidy under the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program (AAIP) will support eligible new Australian apprentices in areas such as plumbing, mechanical, electrical, painting trades and hairdressing.

Mr Porter said under the subsidy, eligible employers within Pearce will be able to receive payments based on the apprentice’s relevant award wage rates.

“Subsidies will be provided at 75 per cent of the apprentice’s award wage in the first year, followed with 50 per cent in the second year and 25 per cent in the third year,” he said. 

“The investment is part of our Government’s commitment to maintain a strong vocational education and training (VET) sector that delivers the quality skilled workforce our community needs.”

The new wage subsidy will complement other incentives currently available through the AAIP and support the engagement of eligible new full-time apprentices at the Certificate III and IV levels in occupations on the National Skills Needs List in regional and rural communities.