This week’s 2022–23 Federal Budget announced key measures that focus on continuing to support businesses in training apprentices and trainees.
Most importantly, the Federal Government has realised crucial skills are in short supply within our economy, so the successful Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements (BAC) program has been extended until June 30, 2022.
This is fantastic news for ASA clients: it means you can continue to access a 50 per cent wage subsidy (up to $28,000 over 12 months) to take on a new apprentice or trainee.
What you need to know
- From 1 July 2022, a new Australian Apprenticeships Incentive Scheme (AAIS) will replace BAC. It will offer a 10 per cent wage subsidy for first and second-year apprentices and 5 per cent for third-years.
This will total a maximum of $15,000 in support. This seems to mean employers will be able to access $6,000 in an apprentice’s first year; $6,000 in the second year; and $3,000 in the third year.
- This new scheme will be restricted to a list of priority occupations – see the list here About the Australian Apprenticeship Priority List – Department of Education, Skills and Employment, Australian Government (dese.gov.au).
We are awaiting further information, but this is what we know so far:
- Regionally based employers will be able to access a higher wage subsidy of 15 per cent for the first year; 10 per cent for the second; and 5 per cent for the third.
- For employers taking on apprentices or trainees not on the Priority List, they may be eligible for a $3,500 hiring incentive, paid in two instalments of $1,750 at 6 months and 12 months.
- Small businesses (with an annual turnover of less than $50 million) will also be able to access a 20 per cent tax deduction for investing in training to train new employees or upskilling existing staff.
- For apprentices that start a new apprenticeship in a priority occupation, the Government will offer a $5,000 apprentice training support payment ($1,250 every six months for two years) paid to the apprentice, to assist with the growing costs of living, while training.
- The Federal Government is also expanding access to the Trade Support Loan initiative (a loan for apprentices to access like university HELP loans) to all priority occupations including aged-care traineeships.
ASA Associate Director, Industry Skills, Lena Constantine said it was pleasing to see that the Budget had both increased its support for apprentices to get through their training successfully and provided support for regional employers.
“This announcement is great news for employers and apprentices alike,” Constantine said.
“Employers will be able to both employ more new apprentices and also have much-needed financial support to keep their existing apprentices on.
“The reason it’s a crucial decision is because, as I noted in my column in CCIWA’s latest WA Works magazine, we’re moving into an uncertain and volatile reality when it comes to our new labour market conditions.
“We can be sure that employers will be much more focused on creating as much certainty around local labour and skills into the future as they can — the extension of the BAC program, through the new AAIS, will help support ASA clients now and into the future.”
CCIWA’s Apprenticeship Support Australia can facilitate employment, manage training and offer support and advice to companies seeking apprentices to boost their workforce. Call ASA on 1300 363 831 or visit their website.