“The new Completing Apprenticeship Commencements program announced today by Stuart Robert, the Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, will help improve retention rates, and help grow the number of tradespeople in skill shortage areas,” Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the national employer association Ai Group said today.


“This additional investment will provide eligible employers with a 10 per cent wage subsidy for apprentices in their second year and 5 per cent in their third year.


“Apprenticeship completion rates have been in a black hole for a number of years and the additional incentives will help employers to retain their apprentices through to completion.  The support will be particularly important for employers facing COVID financial pressures who had been weighing up whether they could afford to retain their apprentices.


“Almost half of those that commence an apprenticeship don’t complete it, with most cancellations happening in the first twelve months.  A wage subsidy that encourages employers to continue apprenticeships into the second and third years will help stem the apprentice exit flow and is welcomed by industry,” Mr Willox said.


The additional subsidy will be available from next month to those employers eligible for the original Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements Program.  That program continues until March 2022 and provides a 50 per cent wage subsidy over 12 months for newly commencing apprentices (capped at $7000 per quarter).


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