The federal government has pledged $1.2 billion to create 100,000 apprenticeships and traineeships across Australia as part of its COVID-19 recovery plan.
Starting today and running until September 30 next year, businesses that employ a new Australian apprentice will receive a 50 per cent wage subsidy, up to $7000 per quarter.
Employers of any size or industry in Australia are eligible for the subsidy, with the subsidies rolling out until the 100,000 apprenticeship cap is reached.
The $1.2 billion adds to the existing $2.8 billion Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy and the $1 billion JobTrainer program, taking the total commitments to $5 billion.
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the apprenticeships would kickstart the careers of young people in industries such as mining.
“During this pandemic the federal government has been focussed on supporting and creating jobs as well as identifying the skills we need in the economic rebuild,” he said.
“Already 760,000 jobs that were either lost or reduced to zero hours as the COVID crisis hit, have come back into our economy. We want to continue to recover what has been lost and get young people into work.
“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 Minerals Council of Australia welcomed the announcement, as chief executive Tania Constable stated the wage subsidies would boost mining regions.
“It will go a long way in helping companies employ young Australians seeking a career in apprenticeships and trades providing a pipeline of qualified skilled staff well into the future,” she said.
“This announcement is welcome news for Australian mining regions, where the minerals industry is supporting jobs and regional economies.
“Regional Australian communities need more support as the nation rebounds from the COVID-19 pandemic which has hit young Australians and their job prospects hard.”
Australia’s resources sector employs 8836 apprentices and trainees.