The Gladstone Engineering Alliance (GEA) has welcomed the Australian Government’s announcement of a trial apprentice wage subsidy to support regional and rural businesses.
From 1 January 2019, the Australian Apprentice Wage Subsidy will support apprenticeships in skills need occupations in rural and regional areas. The subsidy will also encourage participation in apprenticeships by employers who have not previously engaged apprentices, as well as re-engaging employers who may have disengaged from the system.
GEA acting Chief Executive Officer Julie Gelder said over the last 12 months the GEA have had a number of members raise concerns regarding skills shortages within both the resource and construction industry. “The resources and construction industry are a powerful driver of our regions wealth and has a major impact on employment and opportunities,” Ms Gelder said. “The recent scale of growth in the resource and construction industry especially with oil and gas projects ramping up has placed pressure on the labour market where it has even been called a ‘skills war’ between the resource and construction sector.”
The Australian Apprentice Wage Subsidy is available to employers who sign-up and commence a new worker Australian Apprentice from 1 January 2019 and until 1630 sign-ups have occurred.
Employers who employ a new worker Australian Apprentice undertaking a full-time Certificate III or IV qualification that leads to an occupation listed on the National Skills Needs List in a rural and regional workplace may be eligible. The Skilling Queenslanders for Work project is funded and supported by the Queensland Government. Funding of up to $20,000 is available under the Queensland Government’s Youth Boost initiative with payments made directly to the employer of an eligible employee or apprentice.