The Government has announced a series of measures to support the upskilling of Australia’s workforce and address workforce shortages.
The Government will invest $2.8 billion over 5 years from 2021-22 to upskill apprentices, by introducing a new streamlined Australian Apprenticeships Incentive System. This will provide financial support to employers and apprentices and replace the current, overly complex system.
The Boosting and Completing Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidies will be extended by 3 months to 30 June 2022. The Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidy was introduced as a temporary measure in the October 2020 budget. The subsidy provides a rebate to employers of 50% of the wages paid to apprentices or trainees for 12 months from the date they commence employment, up to a maximum of $7,000 per quarter. Under the Completing Apprenticeship Commencements, eligible employers receive a 10 per cent wage subsidy in the second year of an eligible apprenticeship, up to a maximum of $1,500 per quarter per apprentice, and a 5 per cent wage subsidy in the third year of their apprenticeship, to a maximum of $750 per quarter per apprentice.
There will be an increase in apprenticeship In-Training Support through an additional 2,500 places for young Australians aged 15-20 years.
Regional Job Growth
The Government is committing an additional $1 billion in Australia’s manufacturing sector.
With over 30% of Australia’s manufacturing workforce currently employed in regional Australia, it is expected this funding will create even more high-quality jobs in regional Australia.
- Expanding and extending the AgMove program to encourage workers to pursue seasonal agricultural jobs.
- Creating a single Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme with both seasonal and long-term options – the PALM scheme.
- Funding the care and support sector to grow to meet the needs of people with disabilities, veterans and an ageing Australia.
- Transforming the delivery of employment services with Workforce Australia.
- Establishing ReBoot, designed to build life and employability skills in 5,000 disadvantaged young Australians.
- Making over 70 changes to migration and visa settings in response to COVID‑19 and to assist with economic recovery. These include specific visa validity extensions, removal of work restrictions and visa application charge waivers or refunds.