Budget windfall for apprentices, yet industry calls for a 30% regional allocation
The Australian government wants to reduce youth unemployment by committing $1.2 billion dollars to wage subsidies so businesses will hire 100,000 new apprentices and trainees.
The Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced a 50% wage subsidy for businesses that hire new apprentices or trainees to the value of $7000 a quarter, until September 2021.
In February this year, the unemployment rate for young Australians aged 15-24 was 11.5%, more than double the national average.
By June the rate of unemployed youth had risen to over 13%, leaving high school and university graduates with a bleak prospect for finding work.
Business NSW welcomed the announcement and said the initiative will give local businesses the confidence to hire new employees.
"In our region, there is a need for tradies," Stephanie Cameron, Vice President of Tamworth Business Chamber said.
The newly announced funding builds on a similar wage subsidy scheme, first announced last year.
Ms Cameron said there was very little placement in regional areas after last years scheme and wants the government to commit to more places for the bush.
"We believe that at least 30% of those training and wage subsidies should be allocated to regional Australia," Ms Cameron said, "We must make sure our region doesn't miss out."
Businesses or Group Training Organisations may be eligible if they engage an Australian Apprentice or trainee between 5 October 2020 and 30 September 2021, and the Australian Apprentice or trainee is undertaking a Certificate II or higher qualification and has a training contract that is formally approved by the state training authority.
More information about the program can be found here.