By Ron Maxwell - CEO
It’s not surprising that last Tuesday’s Federal Budget announcement focused heavily on employment and training measures, as these are the mechanisms that will get us through recovery and beyond. In our industry, we see the benefits the right employment and training can have at every level, from individual job seekers to employers, local communities and the entire economy. So today, I want to talk about some of the employment and training measures in the Federal Budget 2020, and what they could mean for vulnerable individuals, businesses and Australia as a whole.
A much-needed boost for apprenticeships
The announcement of the Boosting Apprenticeships measure was something the VERTO team and I strongly welcome for so many reasons. Apprenticeships are a key youth employment mechanism, and with young people disproportionately affected by COVID job losses, creating apprenticeship opportunities is crucial. Apprenticeships also provide job opportunities outside our cities, strengthening local economies and allowing people to find work and stay in regional communities.
And, critically, as the country recovers from not only COVID, but drought, bushfire and floods too, we will need more qualified people and a stronger skill base across a diverse range of apprenticeship occupations.
Support for employers of all sizes
The Boosting Apprenticeships measure is a wage subsidy of up to 50 per cent, for businesses who take on apprenticeships between now and 30th September 2021. It’s designed to boost the number of apprenticeship commencements and help businesses of all sizes to fund new apprentices in a tough market.
There are limited places on this program, and in my opinion, they will be snapped up quickly. As an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider, VERTO can administer this subsidy, so if you are wondering whether your business is eligible or you need help finding the right apprentice, I encourage you to get in touch with the Apprenticeships team as soon as possible.
Creating more job opportunities for youth
The JobMaker Hiring Credit is another mechanism to encourage employers to hire young Australians, outside apprenticeships. With the youth unemployment rate now more than double the general rate, this couldn’t come at a better time.
Essentially, if an employer hires a young person, aged 16-35 who is receiving JobSeeker, Youth Allowance or Parenting payments, they will be eligible for up to $200 a week in subsidies for the first twelve months of employment.
This is a great measure that will help Australian businesses to take on new employees, and also help a group that may be overlooked in a difficult job market. At VERTO, we really see the difference the right employment can make to a young person’s future, impacting everything from their financial situation and life choices to their mental health.
I can really see this one making a difference to many businesses and young people alike, and executed correctly, it could be critical for regional communities that are suffering a downturn as a result of COVID, drought, bushfire and flood.
This is a great opportunity to expand your workforce, give a young person access to life-changing employment and boost the economy at the same time, so get in touch with the Employment Services team at VERTO to find out more.
Training sector support vital to re-skill Australians
Our vocational education and training (VET) sector is critical to recovery efforts, as more Australians look to re-skill or gain qualifications in a new industry to find employment in a tough market. To address this challenge, the 2020 budget includes an additional $263 million investment in the sector.
With state governments playing such a big role in Australia’s VET sector, how this money is distributed and used remains to be seen. It’s my hope that it is used wisely to boost and expediate the reforms outlined in the 2018 Joyce Review.
Although the way we work has changed as a result of COVID-19, the skills we need for the future haven’t changed all that much. A robust VET sector is vital to support recovery efforts today and build a strong economy into the future, and the Joyce Review really highlighted the gaps that will need to be addressed to achieve this.
If these funds are used to support these much-needed changes, we have an opportunity to build a strong, agile training sector that will serve Australia well for decades to come.
Overall, the 2020 Federal Budget has some great outcomes for employers and job seekers, particularly young Australians. Of course, the success of these measures will come down to the implementation, but at first look, it certainly seems poised to create new apprenticeships, jobs and training opportunities that will be vital to rebuilding our economy.