Three-month extension of apprenticeship wage subsidy falls short

27 Mar 2022 |

The extension of the Boosting Apprenticeships Commencements (BAC) wage subsidy to 30 June is insufficient in providing businesses with the confidence that apprenticeship support will remain over the long-term.

“Business needs a two-year commitment to extend the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements program if we are going to see lasting benefits that boost skills and address chronic workforce shortages,” ACCI chief executive Andrew McKellar said.

“As it stands, a three-month extension of the BAC scheme doesn’t build into the federal budget an ongoing commitment for businesses to continue hiring apprentices and trainees amid current economic pressures.

“The Government’s BAC subsidy has been outstandingly successful in rebuilding our country’s skills base in the COVID recovery period – since the inception of the scheme, we have seen real growth in these job and training opportunities, ending a decade of decline.

“If we are to lock in these gains, a three-month extension is simply not enough.

“With the incentive now set to expire on 30 June, ACCI will continue to advocate for a long-term commitment from the Government and Federal Opposition to set a minimum 30 per cent wage subsidy in the first 12 months of apprenticeships, and first six months of one-year traineeships.

“Given businesses are facing the most severe skill and labour shortages in almost 50 years, employers must have the confidence to employ a new apprentice or trainee. Apprenticeships require considerable investment from employers, and continued support greatly helps the business case for taking on new trainees and apprentices.

“ACCI’s recently released policy paper, ‘Overcoming Australia’s Labour and Skills Shortages through Skills Development, Workforce Participation and Migration’  made the strong case for wage subsidies to continue.  A return to previous incentive levels will halt all momentum in growing apprenticeship numbers.

Jack Quail | Media Adviser

P  |  02 6270 8020

E  |  [email protected]

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