HIA has welcomed the announcement by the Federal Government of the $2 billion JobTrainer package, which includes an extension of the vital Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy until March 2021.
“The Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy was the first employment assistance package introduced by the Government as COVID-19 began to take hold. It was well targeted and critical to providing both employers and apprentices the certainty they needed in those early days of the crisis,” said HIA Managing Director Graham Wolfe.
“While the HomeBuilder incentive has underpinned activity in the second half of 2020, there are many hurdles for businesses into the months ahead.
“Moving early and confirming that apprentices will now be supported beyond the original September timeframe to March 2021 simply makes sense.
“Today’s announcement extends the subsidy to medium-sized businesses with less than 200 employees also giving them greater certainty.
“The partnership between the Federal Government and the States and Territories announced today, giving more Australians access to free, or low cost, training places in areas of identified skills needs through a $1 billion co-funded JobTrainer fund, is also a welcome move,” said Mr Wolfe.
“Undertaking training may be a practical option for many people. Whether that’s reskilling or upskilling, looking at the opportunity to take on a building apprenticeship now offers a chance for workers to enter new careers and be paid while they learn.
“HIA will monitor the new National Partnership Agreement that will facilitate this training opportunity and work with the National Skills Commission to ensure building and construction trades are recognised as critical areas for the future.”
“While this subsidy will make a real difference to current apprentices and trainees, it is important to provide a clear signal to the school leavers’ class of 2020 that moving into an apprenticeship in 2021 is the right decision. HIA looks forward to working with the Government to identify ways to bring in new students in 2021 and showcase the wealth of opportunities that exist in our industry.”