In a bid to further reduce youth employment levels the Australian Government has announced the commencement of Phase 2 of the Australian Apprentice Wage Subsidy program after the successful Phase 1 trial of this program. The program aims to address current and future skills shortages across the trades sector by incentivising employers in rural and regional areas to take on apprentices in their business
“The continuation of this wage subsidy program after the trial is really exciting news for young job seekers and businesses across regional Australia,” says Apprenticeship Support Australia General Manager, Peter Gilchrist.
Under Phase 2, from 1 July 2019, the first 1,630 employers, based on a rural and regional distribution per State or Territory, who commence a new apprentice in a full-time Certificate III or Certificate IV qualification that leads to an occupation on the National Skills Needs List may be eligible for subsidies for the apprentice’s first three years: 75 percent of the first year award wage for the new apprentice, 50 percent for the second year, and 25 per cent for the third.
All other eligibility requirements under the Australian Apprenticeships Incentive Program must be met. Employers who were deemed eligible to attract the wage subsidy in the Phase 1 trial period cannot apply again.
Starting from 1 July 2019 the Australian Government will extend the Support for Adult Australian Apprentice (SAAA) incentive for employers to include Australian Apprentices 21 years to 24 years of age (previously only applicable to Australian Apprentices 25 years or older).
Eligibility for the SAAA incentive includes that the adult apprentice is undertaking an identified National Skills Needs List occupation and relevant qualification at Certificate III or IV and the employer is paying an actual wage equivalent to or above the National Minimum Wage at the date of commencement. Actual Wage is defined as the ordinary weekly or hourly rate (before tax) and excluding overtime, allowances, penalty rates, leave loading and superannuation.
The Australian Government is making moves to double the standard incentive payments to eligible employers of Australian Apprentices commencing on or after 1 July 2019 in specified skills shortage occupations with first incentive payments due to be paid from 1 July 2020.
The new incentive payments announced in the 2019-20 Budget will be known as the Additional Identified Skills Shortage (AISS) payment.
The AISS will provide an additional incentive for both employers and apprentices where the apprenticeship is in an identified skills shortage occupation. Employer incentive payments are to double from $4000 to $8000 per placement and the new apprentice incentive of $2000.
The AISS will target the 10 top skills shortage occupations in Australia that have an Australian Apprenticeships pathway. Those occupations are:
• Carpenters and Joiners
• Airconditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics
• Bricklayers and Stonesmasons
• Bakers and Pastrycooks
• Vehicle Painters
• Wall and Floor Tilers
Eligible employers may receive:
- $2,000 at the 12 month point in addition to the standard commencement incentive of $1,500 and additional $1,000 in identified Rural and Regional areas.
- $2,000 at successful completion of the apprenticeship in addition to the standard completion incentive of $2,500
- The Support for Adult Australian Apprentices incentive of $4,000 is also payable at the 12 month point where the employer is paying an actual wage equal to or above the National Minimum Wage and the apprentice is aged 21yrs or over.
Eligible apprentices may receive:
- $1,000 at the 12 month point, and an additional $1,000 after completing their apprenticeship, and
- may also access the income-contingent Trade Support Loan of up to $21,078. A 20% discount applies to the loan when the Australian Apprenticeship is successfully completed.
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