Budget 2017: What’s in it for training?

18 May, 2017

The Federal Budget has produced positive outcomes for the training sector, with new programs poised to focus national attention on training and workforce development. Increased funding and mentoring projects will help revitalise the industry and grow the local Australian workforce, increasing enrolment, retention, and completion numbers of apprentices and trainees.

Key observations

  • For the 2016-17 year, it is predicted that the number of West Australians in training will drop to 33,000.  This is down from 45,000 during peak levels in 2012. 
  • The Budget’s commitment to re-focusing national attention on Australia’s apprentice and trainee system is a positive step in revitalising the industry.
  • New projects in the apprentice and trainee sector has the potential to revitalise training enrolments and help build a locally-equipped workforce prepared for when the economy recovers.
  • This significant fall in apprenticeship and traineeship numbers has prompted the Federal Government to focus on training during the recent budget announcement.  

Key budgetary measures

Skilling Australians Fund

  • A $1.5 billion commitment to the implementation of State government projects that focus on the improvement of apprenticeships and traineeships.
  • The Fund is prioritised in high demand industries that currently rely on skilled migration, or industries that show potential future growth.
  • Funds will be distributed to state and territory governments to implement and facilitate projects in the apprentice and trainee sector, both in metropolitan and regional areas.

Industry Specialist Mentoring for Australian Apprentices

  • $60 million committed to new and complementary mentoring programs.
  • Provides intensive support to apprentices and trainees in industries undergoing structural change during the first two years of their training.
  • Through the program, apprentices and trainees will be able to frequently access a skilled industry mentor.
  • The program aims to increase retention rates during training, and therefore strengthen completion rates and the supply of skilled workers in industries undergoing structural change.
  • Organisations will be invited by the Department of Education and Training to apply to be a provider for the program following a procurement process.

More details regarding these changes should become available to the public soon. In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding your apprentices and trainees, contact the Apprenticeship Support Australia team on 1300 363 831.

► For details on what the budget means for WA business, read CCI's breakdown on the Federal Budget 2017