A Federal Coalition Government trial offering regional and rural businesses new incentives to put on more apprentices is underway in the Top End with 18 businesses across Darwin and Palmerston part of the trial.
The $60 million Australian Apprenticeships Wage Subsidy commenced on 1 January 2019, offering employers subsidies worth 75 per cent of the apprentice’s award wage in the first year.
Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory, Nigel Scullion, said the trial would help local businesses remain competitive while supporting more people into apprenticeships.
“Through this trial we anticipate the benefits will flow throughout our community, our new apprentices have a job and a career path, and businesses are helping to grow the number of local skilled workers,” Senator Scullion said.
Senator Scullion and CLP Candidate for Solomon, Kathy Ganley, this week visited one of the businesses, Outback Bakery in Fannie Bay, who have had an apprentice since January under the trial.
“Helping Darwin and Palmerston locals to start an apprenticeship, by supporting the businesses which employ them will have benefits for our entire community,” Mrs Ganley said.
“Starting out in an apprenticeship is the first step towards a rewarding career, and for businesses employing an apprentice, it’s an investment in growing the skills base across Darwin and Palmerston.
“Small business is the backbone of our economy. The Country Liberals are backing small businesses to help them get ahead and create jobs.”
Senator Scullion said Labor cannot be trusted on small business.
“It’s in their DNA to undermine small business because their workers are rarely union members and therefore second class citizens for Labor and the Unions.
“Labor has opposed tax cuts for hard working Territory small businesses and Labor has sought to saddle them with red and green tape at every turn,” Senator Scullion said.
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 incentive we are securing the skills our regional and rural businesses need to remain competitive and give local students new opportunities at home.
“Labor has opposed this trial and fail to see the benefits that will flow through to the community, our new apprentices, and the businesses that are helping to grow the number of local skilled workers.”
Subsidies to employers are valued at 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.
More information about the Australian Apprenticeship Wage Subsidy trial is available online – https://www.australianapprenticeships.gov.au/publications/australian-apprentice-wage-subsidy