The Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, will today launch a $2 billion skills package for trainees and apprentices dubbed JobTrainer.

It includes free VET training courses and $1.5 billion in financial support for apprentices.

Morrison said 341,000 new trainees and 180,000 apprentices will be supported under the multi-billion dollar initiative.

The federal government will provide $2 billion while state and territory governments will contribute $500 million toward the scheme.

Employment and Skills Minister Michaelia Cash said the plan looked to “provide job seekers with the skills that are in demand by employers and are critical to our economic recovery.”

The courses will be provided by public and private providers, including TAFE, with places available from September – just as the JobKeeper program in its current form is scheduled to cease.

The skills package also includes $1.5 billion in apprentice wage subsidies for another six months.

The plan is intended to cover up to $7000 a quarter in apprentice wages – up to half their pay.

It is the next stage of the program, first announced in March, that committed $1.3 billion to supporting apprenticeships.

The funding will be extended to medium-sized businesses with up to 200 employees.

The latest injection of cash effectively doubles the number of trainees receiving financial support.

However, the funding is only available to businesses that already had an apprentice employed on July 1, 2020.

Further details of the scheme will be announced later today.

Master Builders Australia CEO, Denita Wawn, welcomed the announcement, claiming it will provide hope for those who lost jobs in the economic devastation wrought by COVID-19.

“The building and construction industry trains more apprentices and provides more full-time jobs than any other sector in the economy. We look forward to being involved in the implementation of this $2 billion package,” she said.

“With the support of measures like JobTrainer, HomeBuilder and hopefully more stimulus measures and policy reforms in the future our industry will play a vital role in rebuilding Australia.”


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