In October 2020, it was announced that the Morrison Government would invest an additional $1.2 billion to support Australian businesses to employ 100,000 new apprentices or trainees, as part of their COVID-19 economic recovery plan.
These 100,000 new apprenticeship positions have been successfully filled by businesses across Australia in less than 5 months, showing Australia’s strong uptake of this initiative.
Due to the overwhelming success of the subsidy, Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash has announced they will be lifting the cap on places under the program, so that there is no longer a limit on the number of apprentices who can be supported by the measure.
The subsidy remains available to employers of any size or industry, Australia-wide who sign up an Australian apprentice or trainee before 30 September 2021. The subsidy will now also be paid for a full 12-month period for new apprentices and trainees. This includes those apprentices who have already been signed up under this measure. Employers are eligible for 50 per cent of the wages for a new or recommencing apprentice or trainee, up to $7,000 per quarter.
Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash said the measure builds on the existing $2.8 billion Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy that is helping employers to retain their apprentices and trainees.
National Retail Association (NRA) Director of Training Sushila Richardson welcomed the news of the subsidy limits being lifted to further support the Australian job market. As the Registered Training Organisation for the peak retail body, the NRA offers specific and tailored training for retailers.
The extension of the subsidy with the proviso of unlimited uptake on numbers ensures all businesses can now take on apprentices and trainees – knowing that federal funded subsidies will continue to support their business, in particular small businesses who have been hit hard by the pandemic.
Employers are encouraged to take advantage of the federal subsidy to onboard new staff to develop their future workforce capacity. For existing staff who were signed up under this initiative from October last year – the continuation of the funding will also ensure that employers will continue to receive subsidies for those apprentices and trainees.
More information on the measure is available here.
What is an apprenticeship or traineeship?
An apprenticeship or traineeship combines paid on-the-job training provided by an experienced supervisor in the workplace, with off-the-job learning through a training provider.
Traineeships can be full-time or part-time and are available to anyone of working age and at any education level including school students, school-leavers, people re-entering the workforce, and those seeking to change or advance their career.
Why should you take on an apprentice or trainee?
Employing a trainee can deliver real benefits to your business, including:
- Employers can shape the learning of trainees to suit the needs of your business, developing staff with job-specific skills and experience.
- Traineeships are an effective way of building your team. Trainees are more likely to stay with your business because you gave them the start to their career. Retaining their skills and experience is good for your business.
- Traineeships combine hands-on industry training with off-job study under a training contract between the trainee and their employer.
- Employing apprentices is cost-effective – employers can access subsidised training (subject to eligibility) and Government incentives.
To find out more about traineeships in your state, call the NRA Traineeship Hotline on 1300 198 396.