Nineteen Wide Bay businesses are taking on new staff through a Liberal and Nationals Government trial offering regional and rural businesses wage subsidies to take on apprentices, Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien announced today.
Mr O'Brien said the trial would help Wide Bay businesses remain competitive while supporting more people into apprenticeships to get a start in a new career.
"By helping local people to start an apprenticeship, and supporting the businesses that employ them, the benefits will flow on for our entire community," Mr O'Brien said.
"It means apprentices get not just a job but a new career, improving employment opportunities, and for the businesses, it's an investment in growing their skills base and strengthening their long-term success."
The $60 million Australian Apprenticeships Wage Subsidy started on 1 January 2019 offering employers subsidies worth 75 per cent of the apprentice's award wage in the first year, 50 per cent in the second year, and 25 per cent in the third year.
Minister for Small and Family Business, Skills and Vocational Education, Senator Michaelia Cash said having local businesses and apprentices involved in the trial is great for the community.
"There are 3.3 million Australian small businesses which contribute around $395 billion annually to our economy. Small business plays a vital role in our community, from giving young Australians their first real job to supporting our local charities and sporting organisations," Minister Cash said.
"Through this wage subsidy we are securing the skills our regional and rural businesses need to remain competitive and give local students new opportunities at home.
"Disappointingly, Bill Shorten and Labor oppose this scheme and the benefits that it will bring to both local apprentices and small businesses in our community.
"These apprentice positions will be at risk under a Shorten Labor Government. Their opposition to more local apprentices show that Bill Shorten and Labor are seriously out of touch with rural and regional Australia."
More information about the Australian Apprenticeship Wage Subsidy trial is available online – https://www.australianapprenticeships.gov.au/publications/australian-apprentice-wage-subsidy