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Source: Australian Ministers for Employment Skills and Small Business

Thursday 12 March 2020

Media Release
  • Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business
  • Assistant Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships

The Morrison Government is backing apprentices and trainees as part of the Government’s Economic Response to the Coronavirus.

The $1.3 billion measure will ensure up to 70,000 small businesses can keep around 117,000 apprentices and trainees across the country in work and training. The investment is part of the broader $17.6 billion package, designed to keep Australians in jobs and businesses in business.

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said apprentices and trainees are critical to meeting the skills needs of Australian employers.

“We want them to keep learning, keep getting those essential skills that our economy needs to keep business turning over, not just now, but well into the future,” Minister Cash said.

A 50 per cent wage subsidy of up to $21,000 will be available to small businesses which employ fewer than 20 full time employees, including those using a Group Training Organisation, to retain their apprentice or trainee. The subsidy will also be available to businesses of any size and Group Training Organisations that re-engage an eligible apprentice or trainee who would otherwise lose their job.

The new measure is in addition to existing apprenticeships incentives under the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program.

Businesses can register to be assessed for eligibility from 2 April 2020. To be eligible for the wage subsidy the apprentice or trainee must have been in-training with a small business as at 1 March 2020.

Assistant Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships, the Hon Steve Irons MP said, that along with our $585 million Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow package, this measure will ensure the Morrison Government continues the heavy lifting of building the skilled workforce our economy needs.

“We know that industry needs more workers with technical, trade and practical skills. We are backing Australians through incentives, funding and reform to ensure that the sector can deliver the skilled and responsive workforce to meet these needs.”

Further information on how to apply for the subsidy, including information on eligibility is available at:

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