By Ron Maxwell - CEO
I was heartened to hear this week of the Morrison Government's plans to extend the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements (BAC) and Completing Apprenticeship Commencements (CAC) wage subsidy programs. Employers who commence a new Australian apprentice on or by 30 June 2022 will now be eligible under the scheme.
These subsidies offer much-needed support to Australian businesses that employ apprentices. By covering up to 50% of wage costs, this subsidy gives more young people a start, supports growth in Australian industries, and helps businesses recover from the pandemic's impacts.
In addition, last night's Budget announcement revealed a $2.4 billion package to support apprentices and alleviate skill shortages in high-demand occupations.
Giving more apprentices a start
Since BAC was first introduced in October 2020, VERTO has seen a 202 per cent growth in apprenticeship commencements. And this growth is being reflected around the country. Over 350,000 Australians are currently in apprenticeships and traineeships, and a record 220,000 of these are in trade occupations.
And now, with this extension and a range of new supports under the Australian Apprenticeships Incentive System, we have an opportunity to give more apprentices a start. Under the scheme, apprentices in high-demand occupations will be eligible for up to $5,000 in direct payments over two years, and employers can receive up to $4,000 in subsidies.
Apprentices & Trainees - Building our future
Our apprentices and trainees are a key driver of Australia's future, from the carpenters that will build new infrastructure to the frontline staff that will respond to growing mental health and aged care needs. However, with skill shortages in many of our key industries, it's critical to find ways to grow these skills.
Just imagine for a moment a world without tradespeople. Shortages are already impacting customers with long wait times and increasing costs as demand outstrips supply in many trades. Or, imagine a world without our much-needed aged care workers. With an ageing population, this is a very real threat. In fact, we could be seeing ratios as high as one aged care worker to every 450 elderly people in the next ten years.
The time to act is now
Apprenticeships and traineeships are fantastic vehicles to build strong talent pipelines for these industries, but we must act now. With apprenticeships taking around four years to complete, building qualified workers will take time.
So, I hope you will join me in welcoming the Australian Government's support for our apprentices, as it is an investment in the future for us all.
The VERTO team is looking forward to helping more Australian businesses make use of these incentives to grow their business and play a role in the future of their industries.
Whether you are an employer or an individual considering an apprenticeship, make the most of the support available to you. Get in touch with VERTO on 1300 483 786 to explore your options and get started.