Australian employers get wage subsidies for apprentices

The government is expanding wage subsidies for businesses which employ apprentices into the latter’s second and third years.
By: | September 30, 2021

The A$3.9 billion (US$2.8 billion) Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements programme will extend support into the second and third year of an eligible Australian apprenticeship through the A$716-million (US$520-million) Completing Apprenticeship Commencements programme, according to a media release.

Under the new changes effective from October 2021, eligible employers will receive a 10% wage subsidy for second-year apprentices and a 5% wage subsidy for third-year apprentices.

The new programme is expected to benefit 270,000 Aussies who started their apprenticeships between October 2020 and March 2022. Employers will thus be more incentivised to keep on new starters until they complete their apprenticeship.

The new Completing Apprenticeship Commencements programme will help maintain a pipeline of skilled workers right across the economy with 348,200 Australians training as of June 2021, 30% more than the previous 12 months, said minister for employment, workforce, skills, small and family business Stuart Robert.

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The minister added, “While other countries shed their apprentice workforces, our highly successful Boosting Apprenticeship Commencement programme saw new apprenticeships increase 141.5% year-on-year.”

Under the current programme, eligible employers can claim 50% of first-year apprentices’ gross wages up to A$7,000 (US$5,081) per quarter, per apprentice.