Business NSW, which represents more than 25,000 businesses, will on Thursday release a report which shows the impact of COVID-19 on skills training will be worse than previously expected. Up to 40 per cent of apprentices could lose their jobs by the end of this year without an economic recovery and an extension of employer subsidies, including JobKeeper payments.
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The number of new apprenticeships and traineeships is expected to decline by 30% within two years, according to research from the Mitchell Institute at Victoria University. That equates to about 130,000 fewer new apprentices and trainees between the start of the pandemic and mid-2023. The number of currently enrolled apprentices and trainees is also tipped to go down.
The poorly designed and funded vocational education sector that has evolved in Australia over the past 20 years has left it as the Cinderella of education. As the Prime Minister continues his challenge of reforming the Australian federation, vocational education is an excellent place to start.
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The Australian Industry Group is calling on the federal government to introduce a $3.9 billion support scheme to help address the fall in apprenticeship numbers partly brought on by the COVID-19 crisis.
Despite the government’s relief package with its 50 percent contribution some small business employers can not afford to retain an apprentice in this current crisis. The $1500 a fortnight JobKeeper payment has not yet kicked in for many employers since most had not yet hit the trigger point of a 30 percent fall in turnover.
The federal government recently announced wage subsidies to support 70,000 small businesses with apprentices to keep them employed. The initiative will pay half of an apprentice’s wage for nine months in a bid to save jobs.
Read more here: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/