Federal Budget 2024: Prioritising Skills for the Future


Posted on 16/05/24 in

The Federal Budget for 2024-2025 was announced on Tuesday 14 May 2024. Key measures in relation to skills include $91 million in funding over the next five years to support a Future Made in Australia through the development of a skilled and diverse workforce and trade partnerships.

Skilling the Clean Energy Workforce
The Future Made in Australia package prioritises a Clean Energy Workforce. The Government will expand the eligibility criteria for the New Energy Apprenticeships Program to include apprentices with exposure to work in clean energy. Employers will need to demonstrate that the apprentice will undertake clean energy work and can provide meaningful exposure, experience, and work for apprentices in clean energy. This will provide access to $10,000 incentive payments and support a target of 10,000 new energy apprentices.

Changes to Incentives
Changes were also announced in regard to the Australian Apprenticeships Incentive System for 2024-25.

Employers taking on apprentices in priority areas will be eligible for an additional $1,000 ($5,000 in total) to help subsidise costs associated with employing an apprentice. Individual apprentices training in priority areas will be eligible for an additional $2,000 ($5,000 in total) to assist them to undertake and complete their training. 

The revised system will see the removal of the Priority Wage Subsidy for Priority Occupation Employers in place of the new Priority Hiring Incentive. Non-priority Occupation Employers will cease to be funded for commencement and recommencements from 1 July 2024.

Apprentices and Employers who have financial assistance under the Incentives System approved prior to 30 June 2024 will continue to receive the support through grandfathering arrangements.  

Skilling the Construction Workforce
The Government will provide funding to grow Australia’s construction workforce and boost housing supply through 20,000 additional Fee-Free places at TAFE and industry Registered Training Organisations for courses relevant to the construction sector. This will include support for 5,000 people to access pre-apprenticeship programs, designed to expose students to working in construction-related trades before embarking on an apprenticeship.

Supporting Women into Higher Paid Careers via VET
The Government will invest a further $55.6 million to boost women’s participation in construction, clean energy and advanced manufacturing industries, and technology and digital sectors through the Building Women’s Careers programs.

Cost of Living
Measures were also announced to help with the cost of living which will benefit all apprentices. These measures include:
  • The Government will cut $3 billion worth of student debt by capping the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) indexation rate to be the lower of either the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or Wage Price Index (WPI). The Government will backdate this relief to all HELP, VET Student Loan, Australian Apprenticeship Support Loan and other student support loan accounts that existed on 1 June 2023.
  • Changes to stage 3 tax means all 13.6 million Australian taxpayers will receive a tax cut from 1 July onwards. The average tax cut is $1888.
  • All Australian households will receive a total rebate of $300 on electricity bills throughout the year.

We share the latest Apprenticeships news for both apprentices and employers, as we look forward to helping Australian workers pursue their careers in trades. For further reading on budget outcomes for apprenticeships, visit apprenticeships.gov.au.

To find out how we at Apprenticeship Support Australia can support you, and your business, contact us here.


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