Wage Subsidy Trial for Local Apprentices, Small Business

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

Minister for Small and Family Business, Skills and Vocational Education Senator Michaelia Cash said the trial would see up to 1,630 new Australian Apprentices in areas of skills needs.

“There are 3.3 million Australian small businesses which contribute around $395 billion annually to our economy. 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,” Minister Cash 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.

Toni Turner (left), owner of Madora Bay Glass, and their apprentice Harely (centre), with Andrew Hastie.

“Too often regional communities suffer from a lack of opportunity for young people, causing an exodus to the cities,” said Member for Canning Andrew Hastie.

“This trial is just one of the things the Coalition is doing to improve job opportunties for young people in the Peel region.”

“A VET qualification can unlock as many opportunities and is just as important to the economy as a university degree,” Mr Hastie continued.

“This investment is part of our Government’s commitment to vocational education and training that delivers the quality skilled workforce our community needs.”

Mr Hastie said that under the subsidy ­eligible employers in the City of Mandurah and Shires of Murray, Waroona and Boddington could 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.” 

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.