Boosting Apprenticeships boosted once more

BHP

BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) welcomed 51 new apprentices to its operations in the Bowen Basin, QLD, in March. Image: BHP

The Federal Government has extended two apprenticeship support programs following their success in welcoming more than 385,000 apprentices to get a start in their chosen field.

The Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements and the Completing Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidies will receive another $365.3 million to support an extra 35,000 apprentices and trainees across multiple industries.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the supply chain needed this kind of support to ensure key sectors like resources and energy can keep the nation running.

“I’ve met trade apprentices across the country supported by these programs and we want to help even more Australians take advantage of the skills and jobs that come with learning a trade,” he said.

“Trades training shores up our skills pipeline, gets people into work, drives down unemployment and gives businesses the confidence to keep on hiring.”

Over 73,000 businesses have accessed the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements program and Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) chief executive officer Tania Constable believes the program deserves even more attention.

“The MCA has called for it to be permanently funded, given the program’s success but also to acknowledge the long-term economic benefits of increasing apprenticeships,” Constable said.

“The MCA has identified that electricians, engineering tradesperson – mechanical and automotive electricians, are essential for the digital transformation of mining.

“Mining has helped sustain the Australian economy and the budget throughout the pandemic, and continues to prepare for the demands of the future world – high tech and lower emissions.

The new funding brings the Federal Government’s contribution to the skills sector to $7.8 billion in this financial year.

Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, Stuart Robert, said it had been especially important for the female workforce in traditionally male dominated industries.

“The Morrison Government’s record investment in skills and training is seeing hundreds of thousands of Australians – including a record number of women trade apprentices – getting skilled and taking up jobs,” Robert said.

“Our investment in Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements has seen almost 75,000 women supported to get skilled since it was launched 18 months ago.”

The programs will allow any employer who takes on an apprentice or trainee up until 30 June 2022 to gain access to:

  • 50 per cent of the eligible Australian Apprentice’s wages in the first year, capped at a maximum payment value of $7,000 per quarter per Australian Apprentice,
  • 10 per cent of the eligible Australian Apprentice’s wages in the second year, capped at a maximum payment value of $1,500 per quarter per Australian Apprentice, and
  • 5 per cent of the eligible Australian Apprentice’s wages in the third year, capped at a maximum payment value of $750 per quarter per Australian Apprentice.

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