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Regional, rural apprentices and small business benefit from wage subsidy trial

Federal Member for Durack and Minister for the Environment Melissa Price welcomed the announcement earlier this month, of the Federal Government’s $60 million wage subsidy trial for regional and rural apprentices.

“Businesses in eligible locations across Durack can take advantage of this incentive to secure the skills our regional and rural businesses need to remain competitive and give local students new opportunities to stay in their homes,” Minister Price said.

Minister for Small and Family Business, Skills and Vocational Education Senator Michaelia Cash who announced the trial, said the wage subsidy was an incentive for employers in regional and rural communities to engage more apprentices.

“The trial will see up to 1,630 new Australian apprentices in areas of skills needs. There are 3.3 million Australian small businesses which contribute around $395 billion annually to our economy,” Minister Cash said.

Minister Price said the Federal Government’s investment is another practical step to help create jobs and opportunities for both regional small businesses and young people.

“It’s an incentive I believe will encourage businesses and employers to employ a new apprentice and kick start someone’s career,” Ms Price said.

“A Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification is every bit as important to the economy as a university degree.”

From 1 January 2019, the new subsidy under the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program (AAIP), will support eligible new Australian apprentices in areas such as plumbing, mechanical, electrical, painting trades and hairdressing.

Minister Price said under the subsidy, eligible employers within the Durack electorate will be able to receive payments based on the apprentice’s relevant award wage rates.

“Subsidies will be provided at 75 per cent of the apprentice’s award wage in the first year, followed with 50 per cent in the second year and 25 per cent in the third year,” Minister Price said.

“The investment is part of our Government’s commitment to maintain a strong VET sector that delivers the quality skilled workforce our community needs.”

The new wage subsidy will complement other incentives currently available through the AAIP and support the engagement of eligible new full-time apprentices at the Certificate III and IV levels in
occupations on the National Skills Needs List in regional and rural communities.

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