Member for New England Barnaby Joyce has urged local businesses to take advantage of the government’s new $60 million wage subsidy to engage more apprentices in the bush.
This trial program will specifically target businesses in rural and regional areas including Scone, Quirindi, Tamworth, Walcha, Armidale, Inverell, Glen Innes and Tenterfield.
From January 1 the new subsidy under the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program (AAIP) will support eligible new Australian apprentices in areas such as plumbing, mechanical, electrical, painting trades and hairdressing.
Mr Joyce said under the subsidy, eligible employers within New England will be able to receive payments based on the apprentice’s relevant award wage rates.
“This is a three-year package on offer with a 75 per cent subsidy of the apprentice’s award wage in the first 12 months, followed with 50 per cent in the second year and 25 per cent in the third year,” Mr Joyce said.
“The new wage subsidy will complement additional measures already available to local employers, such as the Commencement Incentive of $1500 per apprentice.
“In the short term, having more apprentices in work will provide the secure employment many people are seeking and in the long term, it will establish the skilled workforce that country communities are so desperate to have.”
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