Investing in a skilled Australian workforce
The Australian Government has committed $525 million to upgrade the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector and deliver a skilled Australian workforce.
Announced as part of the 2019-20 Federal Budget handed down by Treasurer the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP on 2 April 2019, the following initiatives were announced to help meet the needs of industry, create jobs for the future, and support up to 80,000 new apprentices over the next five years:
Additional Identified Skills Shortage Payment
The following financial incentives will be available to employers and Australian Apprentices in sectors facing skills shortages:
- An additional $4,000 in incentives ($2,000 after 12 months and $2,000 at completion) will be available for employers signing up new apprentices or trainees in areas of identified skills needs on or after 1 July 2019.
- This incentive will be in addition to the existing standard employer incentives of $1,500 at commencement and $2,500 at completion of an apprenticeship.
- New Australian Apprentices in areas of identified skills needs who are signed up on or after 1 July 2019 may also be eligible for a total of $2,000 ($1,000 after 12 months and $1,000 at completion).
Eligible occupations will be reviewed annually, and currently include:
- Carpenters and joiners
- Air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanics
- Bricklayers and stonemasons
- Bakers and pastry cooks
- Vehicle painters
- Wall and floor tilers
Foundational Skills and Training Hubs
To provide Australians with the fundamental skills they need to succeed in further education and employment, a new $62.4 million foundational language, literacy, numeracy and digital skills program will be introduced.
A further $50.6 million will be invested in establishing 10 new Training Hubs across Australia to tackle youth unemployment by creating better connections between industry and schools.
An improved and integrated Vocational Education and Training Sector
Effective 1 July 2020, further funds will be invested in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector to streamline employer incentives and establish a consistent national approach to apprenticeships and traineeships.
These funds include:
- $2.8 billion annual investment in research and reform
- $44 million to streamline incentives for employers of apprentices and trainees, and modernise the skills needs list
- $34.2 million to support new apprenticeships through the Skilling Australians Fund National Partnership Agreement
- $10 million to develop skills in areas of need by building innovative partnerships between schools, employers and the VET sector
- $8.5 million to address youth unemployment by providing scholarships across Australia and increasing awareness of the VET sector and the Australian Apprenticeships programme.