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Budget 2020: Canberra to pay half of all trainees’ wages

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The federal government has pledged to pay half the salary of new apprentices and trainees in any industry for one year from today.

The $1.2 billion budget sweetener is being touted by the federal government as the biggest ever investment in a trainee commencement scheme.

This assistance will support 100,000 new apprentices across Australia, and is in addition to the Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy which is helping small and medium businesses to keep their apprentices and trainees in work and training.

“The VTA welcomes the Morrison Government’s investment in young Australian trainees and apprentices, and the businesses that employ them, with its commitment of $1.2 billion to subsidise their wages,” said Peter Anderson, CEO of the Victorian Transport Association.

“The transport industry needs a steady supply of motor vehicle mechanics and other professional trades to service fleets of prime movers and other transport vehicles, so that supply chains are safe, efficient and productive.

“While the scheme mightn’t attract new drivers, it does support related sectors the transport industry relies upon, and gives us confidence that as our industry continues to grow, it will be supported with a national pool of competent and talented experts to keep supply chains moving.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the package forms part of the federal government’s recovery plan from the economic recession sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.

“During this pandemic the federal government has been focused on supporting and creating jobs as well as identifying the skills we need in the economic rebuild,” Morrison said.

“Whether it’s the manufacturing, housing and construction, arts or mining sectors — this new wage subsidy gives businesses certainty to hire and provides a career path to aspiring, young tradies.”

The subsidy scheme that starts today will be available until the 100,000 quota is reached.

Employers will be able to subsidise apprentice wage by 50 per cent, or $7000 per quarter until September 30, 2021.

Employment Minister Michaelia Cash said the additional support is on top of the existing $2.8 billion trainee wage schemes which is already in place for trade-based professions.

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