A WAGE subsidy trial for regional apprentices will be extended if the Coalition is re-elected next month, the Prime Minister will announce today.
Scott Morrison is set to announce a further $60 million today to double the size of the Australian Apprentice Wage Subsidy Trial, established earlier this year.
More than 3200 young Australians would be employed under the initiative, with 330 young Victorians already benefiting from the wage subsidy trial.
“Apprenticeships unlock a lifetime of job opportunities,” the Prime Minister said.
“This initiative is about making sure there’s even more opportunities for our young people to learn a valuable trade, particularly in regional and rural Australia.
“Last year alone we created 100,000 jobs for people and this pilot will deliver an extra 1,600 opportunities for apprentices across regional and rural areas.”
Under the subsidy, eligible employers are able to receive payments based on the apprentice’s relevant award wage rates.
Subsidies are provided at 75 per cent of the apprentice’s award wage in the first year, followed with 50 per cent in the second year and 25 per cent in the third year.
“We want to get more young people into work,” Mr Morrison said ahead of today’s announcement.
“We’re backing 1600 new sparkies, plumbers, mechanics, hairdressers and painters. “Importantly they will be learning their trade in regional Australia where these skills are needed.”
Last week, the national unemployment rate edged slightly higher to five per cent, a trend attributed to more Australians looking for work.
Full-time work increased by 48,300, while 22,600 part-time jobs were lost.
Earlier this month, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said if elected, his government would spend $200 million on TAFE campuses and double the number of new apprenticeships outlined by Treasurer Josh Frydenburg in his 2019-20 budget.
The commitment outlined by the Labor leader amounted to $440 million of new spending, three-quarters of which would deliver 150,000 apprenticeship subsidies in parts of Australia with skills shortages.
Vocational Education Minister Michaelia Cash said Mr Shorten lacked commitment to tackling regional youth unemployment.
“Bill Shorten and Labor have opposed (the Coalition initiative) at every opportunity,” Senator Cash said.
“As such, the jobs of 3200 apprentices will be at risk under a Shorten Labor Government.
“Bill Shorten needs to come clean about whether he will rip up the wage subsidy and take away their jobs.”