The Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN) Australia has welcomed the Federal Government’s budget announcements, including $1.2 billion in wage assistance for businesses taking on new apprentices and trainees.
From October 5, 2020 businesses are eligible to claim half of apprentice and trainee wages for the first 12 months of their placement, beginning on the day employment commences.
These subsidies will be transferred to businesses quarterly to support 100,000 apprenticeships and traineeships places across all industries.
GAN Australia executive director, Gary Workman, said government support is necessary to boost training and employment up to a level that will sustain key industries through economic recovery, as well as helping apprentices, trainees and employers manage the effects of the pandemic.
“School leavers and young people are particularly vulnerable to falling through the economic cracks at this time. We want to encourage them to get involved in training for a trade, IT or administrative role,” he said.
“Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to get into the workforce. They provide a combination of structured lessons and on-the-job experience which lay the foundations for a wide range of exciting careers in growth industries.
“Thanks to the Federal Government’s announcements, more employers will be looking for people who are eager to learn.”
Workman believes that businesses would have struggled to make the commitment to take on a new apprentice, but will now be able to offer employment and training under the Government’s $1.2 billion package.
“Training an apprentice is a long term commitment that will help their business grow and contribute to a more skilled workforce overall,” he said.
Since the pandemic hit some $2.8 billion in support for apprenticeships and traineeships has been made available, including a wage subsidy for small to medium sized businesses to retain existing apprentices and trainees through the Government’s JobTrainer package.
The Federal Government has also announced an exemption from Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) for employers providing retraining and reskilling to employees who are moving to a different role within their business.
Businesses that require additional support to recruit or commit to taking on a four-year apprentice can use the services of a group training organisation (GTO).
GTOs are a link between employers and apprentices and trainees, offering opportunities for young people entering the workforce or people seeking a career change and providing targeted assistance to businesses growing their teams.