Apprentice wage subsidy for employers

20 December, 2018

Industry update - apprentice wage subsidy to support regional businesses

Last month, Michaelia Cash, Minister for Small and Family Business, Skills and Vocational Education announced the Australian Apprentice Wage Subsidy, providing financial support for eligible regional and rural employers taking on Australian Apprentices from 1 January 2019.

Previously only available to employers who hadn’t taken on an apprentice over the last three years, the Minister has now announced expanded eligibility criteria – meaning greater support for more businesses across rural and regional Australia.

  • What is the Australian Apprentice Wage Subsidy?

    To support the needs of rural and regional industry, employers and job seekers, the Australian Apprentice Wage Subsidy provides financial support to eligible employers who hire an Australian Apprentice undertaking a qualification that leads to an occupation listed on the National Skills Needs List.

  • What subsidies are available?

    The Australian Apprentice Wage Subsidy is based on the award wage rate of the Australian Apprentice, and is paid as follows within the first three years of their apprenticeship:

    Year of apprenticeship Subsidy
    • First-year
    • Second-year
    • Third-year
    • 75% of award wage
    • 50% of award wage
    • 25% of award wage
  • So, who’s eligible?

    The Apprentice Wage Subsidy is available to employers in identified rural and regional areas who sign-up and commence an Australian Apprentice:

    • In a full-time Certificate III or IV qualification AND
    • The qualification is part of the National Skills Needs List AND
    • The Australian Apprentice is paid under a modern award AND
    • The apprenticeship commences on or after 1 January 2019.

    Are small businesses eligible? Yes! As long as you meet the criteria above and employ less than 20 (full-time equivalent) people at the date your apprentice commences.

    What about medium and large enterprises? Also eligible! As long as you meet the criteria listed under “So, who’s eligible?” and you have NOT:

    • Previously employed an Australian Apprentice; OR
    • Employed an Australian Apprentice in the three-year period prior to 1 January 2019.

    The employer must also meet all other eligibility requirements under the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Programme. The Australian Apprentice Wage Subsidy is in addition to the suite of employer incentives available under the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Programme.

    To find out more about eligibility click here.


We’re here to help you take advantage of the Australian Apprentice Wage Subsidy.

To be eligible, a Commonwealth Government Training Contract must also be in place. It may sound complicated but don’t worry – that’s where we come in!

Once your new Australian Apprentice is on board, we’re here to sign them up and register their Training Contract with the relevant State Training Authority so you can be ready to take advantage of the Australian Apprentice Wage Subsidy.