Since the launch of the Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy in April, the government said the program has paid 51,200 employers to keep 89,300 apprentices working throughout the pandemic.
Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business Michaelia Cash said the measure has been helping the economy recover from the pandemic.
“This targeted financial support is providing rapid and direct assistance to protect jobs and keep businesses, apprentices and trainees connected to the benefits of training already undertaken,” Ms Cash said.
“The $2.8 billion wage subsidy is a vital part of rebuilding our economy, while at the same time, building a skilled workforce for the future.”
Assistant Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships, the Hon Steve Irons MP, said the wage subsidy is available to small and medium businesses that retain an apprentice or trainee.
In addition, he said employers of any size that re-engage an eligible out-of-trade apprentice or trainee are also eligible.
“The initial $1.3 billion package was extended and expanded in July with an additional $1.5 billion of investment from the government. This will see up to 180,000 apprentices and 90,000 employing businesses supported,” Mr Irons said.
“Eligible employers will receive a subsidy of 50 per cent of an apprentice’s or trainee’s wage — up to $7,000 per quarter — with the program also extended to March 2021.”
In addition, Ms Cash said the federal government is working with the state and territory counterparts to establish the $1 billion JobTrainer Fund, with a $500 million investment to then be matched by the other jurisdictions.
“This will provide up to an additional 340,700 free or low-fee training places to help Australians upskill and reskill in areas of demand,” she said.
Businesses can apply for the Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy here.