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$7k wage scheme extended for 70,000

Lucy Dean
·2-min read
Man handling fifty dollar notes finance. Money and bills economy
It comes as the Government prepares to remove JobKeeper and JobSeeker support programs. Image: Getty.

Another 70,000 apprentices will be eligible for 50 per cent wage subsidies as the Government extended its apprenticeship support scheme.

The existing Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements program had a cap of 100,000 new starters and was worth $1.2 billion. Around 30,000 apprentices were hired in NSW and another 24,000 in Victoria.

Under the $1.2 billion expansion announced on Tuesday, employers will be able to access the 50 per cent subsidy for trainees and apprentices hired between October 2020 and September 2021, essentially extending it for another 12 months.

The expansion essentially removes the cap on trainees supported by the scheme, with it instead transitioning into a demand-driven service it expects will support 70,000 jobs. The subsidy is capped at $7,000 per quarter.

"This will ensure an apprenticeship place is there for any Australian and every business who wants one as our economy recovers," Prime Minister Scott Morrison will say on Tuesday.

"We also recognise that, while the labour market is strengthening, there are still Australians out there looking for work and needing to upskill.

"We have never forgotten them."

Nearly 40,000 businesses have been receiving the wage subsidies, first announced in the October federal budget last year.

The Government’s decision comes after business lobby, the Australian Industry Group, called on the Government to create long-term support for younger workers, apprenticeships and employers.

In its latest budget submission, it said financial incentives for employers have barely changed in the last two decades.

Australia is also bracing for the end of the JobKeeper stimulus and a $100 effective cut to fortnightly JobSeeker payments, both due to come into effect at the end of March.

With AAP.

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