Apprentices supported in Aust’s COVID-19 relief

More than $100 million has been paid to almost 13,000 employers to keep 22,000 apprentices and trainees on the job since the federal government launched its Supporting Apprentices and Trainees measure in early April.

The apprentice and trainee relief was announced on April 2 and forms part of the federal government’s economic response measures to ensure employers can keep their apprentices and trainees despite the economic setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The support provides a 50 per cent subsidy for apprentice and trainee wages. Subsidies will cover wages paid from January 1 to September 30 this year and businesses will be reimbursed up to $7,000 per quarter, up to a maximum of $21,000, per eligible employee.

The wage subsidy is available to small businesses that employ less than 20 full-time employees and retain their Australian apprentice or trainee.

In addition, employers of any size and group training organisations that re-engage an eligible out-of-trade apprentice or trainee are also eligible for this relief.

Minister for employment, skills, small and family business Michaelia Cash said apprentices and trainees are vital for the ongoing economic growth of Australia and building a sustainable future workforce.

Assistant minister for vocational education, training and apprenticeships Steve Irons said the Australian government is committed to delivering targeted, scalable support in the face of COVID-19 and the first priority is those businesses that are most vulnerable.

“This critical measure will help ensure the Australian economy recovers well and continues to enable employers to be more competitive, more innovative and to create more job opportunities. Most importantly, it is keeping apprentices connected to work,” Irons said.

The government is also working on connecting apprentices and trainees who have lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic with new work and training through the new Apprentice and Trainee Re-engagement Register as part of this measure.

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