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Government extends apprentice wage subsidy

The federal government is extending its Boosting Apprenticeship Commencement subsidy scheme for 12 months until September 30, 2021.

The program, which covers 50 per cent of wages paid to new or recommencing apprentices, has been embraced by businesses. The government says it is has helped create 100,000 apprenticeships in less than five months.

“Growing our skills pipeline is an incredibly important part of helping our economic recovery,” says Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business Michaelia Cash.

“The Boosting Apprenticeship Commencement program has to date assisted almost 40,000 businesses to take on a new Australian apprentice or trainee.

“This initiative has supported the creation of more than 8,000 bricklayers, 6,000 electricians, and almost 11,000 people in retail and hospitality work.”

According to the government, 40 per cent of these new apprentices and trainees were employed by small businesses, with the largest take up in the construction, food and beverage, administrative, and repair and maintenance sectors. Around 36 per cent of the new commencements have been women, and about 20 per cent were over the age of 35.

The new tranche of funding, estimated at around $1.2 billion, is expected to generate 70,000 new positions. It will also cover business that had already employed apprentices under the program, so that they get a full 12 months of the subsidy.

The National Australian Apprenticeship Association (NAAA) has welcomed the announcement that the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencement (BAC) program is to be extended.

“BAC is the most successful apprenticeship program since the creation of Traineeships in the 1990s,” says NAAA CEO Ben Bardon.

“The key to its success is that it provides certainty for employers as they plan their recovery from COVID-19. BAC helps them create full-time positions for young people. This is especially important as school leavers face significant challenges as they transition to the world of work, given high levels of employment.”

For more information about the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencement program, click here.

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