Among the many incentives announced during the Federal Budget earlier this month, one that may have been easy to overlook was the poorly-named Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements.
This is part of the Government’s commitment to a skilled economy, and takes the form of a $1.2 billion boost to encourage employers to take on new apprentices and trainees.
More specifically, employers of any size can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of a trainee or apprentice’s gross wages between October 5, 2020 and September 30, 2021 – with a cap of $7000 per quarter, per employee.
Similar to JobKeeper, payments will be made quarterly, in arrears, directly into a nominated bank account.
This is a bonus of up to $28,000 per annum, per employee that you train up and take on – meaning a huge chunk of their yearly wages will be covered by the Government.
So, am I eligible for this?
You are eligible if you hire an Australian apprentice or trainee between October 5 and September 30, and they undertake a Certificate II or higher.
They will also need a training contract formally approved by the relevant state training authority.
Group Training Organisations are also eligible for the subsidy.
If you hired a trainee between July 2 and October 4, 2020, they won’t be eligible for the payments.
However, there is no limit to the number of apprentices or trainees you can register for this wage subsidy.
The subsidy is capped at 100,000 places, and is not available for any trainee receiving any other form of Australian Government wage, such as the JobKeeper or Supporting Apprentices and Trainees subsidies.
You can upskill your current employees, too, but they must not have started the training before October 5, 2020.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for employers to ensure ‘new hire’ staff are adequately trained up to Certificate IV and Diploma level, with support from the Federal Government for up to 50 per cen of the gross wages,” explains Tony Rowe of MRT Training.
“Who wouldn’t want to get a slice of that pie?”
Mr Rowe is CEO of MRT Training, which offers training to the real estate and property sector for compliance and licensing purposes.
Their training ranges from entry level programs, to the Certificate IV and Diploma level programs required in various jurisdictions for the full real estate agent licence.
“It blends nicely with obligations to ensure staff are properly trained and, if that is provided by reputable training providers, then the industry as a whole benefits,” Mr Rowe continues.
“It’s a great initiative to follow-on from the winding back of the JobKeeper program.”