New financial year brings new incentives for employers of apprentices

The Commonwealth Government has reviewed the employer incentives it provides for Australian Apprenticeships and has made some revisions which commenced on 1 July 2019. The existing incentives for apprentices and trainees remain, but three new incentives apply.

The Australian Apprentice Wage Subsidy trial, which supported employers in regional areas facing skills shortages has been reprised for an extra 1630 apprentices. This subsidy provides 75 per cent of the apprentice award wage in the first year, 50 per cent in the second and 25 per cent in the third. It is open to employers of apprenticeships in traditional trades in a rural or regional workplace. Applications for this subsidy are expected to exceed the target very quickly.

An Identified Skills Shortage Payment is available to employers and apprentices in ten selected trades. These trades are mainly in the construction sector and the incentive provides eligible apprentices with $1000 after 12 months and $1000 on completion, while employers will receive $2000 after 12 months and $2,000 on completion. This is additional to the existing incentives.

The Support for Adult Australian Apprentices Incentive has been revised. This payment of $4,000 for employers of adults in apprenticeships in traditional trades was previously only available for those aged 25 years and over. This age limit has been reduced to 21 years.

You should check your eligibility through an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider. Revised guidelines can be viewed here.

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Peter Canavan
Peter Canavan is a senior policy officer at Ai Group, contributing to education and training policy and managing projects including the Industry 4.0 Higher Apprenticeship project. He has previously managed national projects relating to apprenticeships. Peter has over 25 years experience in the vocational training sector, and has also managed projects for the Victorian Government, including apprenticeship projects and projects supporting workers retrenched from the automotive manufacturing sector.

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