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Tradies are set to be the biggest beneficiaries in tonight’s Federal Budget with the government committing $1.2 billion to support 100,000 new apprentices or trainees.

The federal government will introduce a 50 per cent wage subsidy for businesses which take on a new apprentice.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the package forms part of the federal government’s recovery plan from the economic recession sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.

“During this pandemic the federal government has been focused on supporting and creating jobs as well as identifying the skills we need in the economic rebuild,” Morrison said.

“Whether it’s the manufacturing, housing and construction, arts or mining sectors — this new wage subsidy gives businesses certainty to hire and provides a career path to aspiring, young tradies.”

The HVACR industry and supporting trades in building and construction will be big winners from this announcement.

Master Builders Australia CEO, Denita Wawn, said business confidence to take on apprentices has been shaken by the COVID crisis and the Federal Government’s move will encourage industry to invest in the future.

“We know that the building and construction industry takes substantially longer than the rest of the economy to recover from an economic downturn and this 50% wage subsidy will give confidence to our sector that it can sustainably continue training its future workforce,” Wawn said.

“This $1.2 billion investment by the Government is undoubtedly good news but its effectiveness will be blunted without further stimulus to support and activate demand for building and construction services.”

Federal Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, said he has no option but to spend big in tonight’s budget because the economy requires massive support.

Speaking to the ABC, the Treasurer said there will be substantial government support until unemployment is "comfortably under six per cent.”

"Unemployment tends to go up the elevators and come down the stairs," he told the ABC.

"In the 1980s [recession], it took six years to get unemployment back below six per cent from where they started.

"And in the 1990s, it took 10 years to get it below six per cent from where they started. We're hoping to move faster than that, and that's why in this budget, you'll see more economic activity as a result of our initiatives, creating more jobs."

Tonight's Budget will see immense spending across all sectors of the economy, to boost activity and underpin employment.

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