Budget 2020: Businesses to get wage subsidies if they hire young job-seekers

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Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

Australian businesses that hire unemployed young people will be given access to wage subsidies from the federal government, as part of a new policy to be included in the federal budget tonight. 

The Australian Financial Review reports the subsidy program will work in a similar way to the one announced on the weekend for new apprentices and trainees, but will be available across all job types, in an effort to create more jobs for young people who have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic. 

These new wage subsidies will be targeted at workers aged under 35 who are currently on welfare, and the job will need to have a minimum number of hours.

According to reports, the government’s preference is to offer subsidies to help create new jobs, rather than continue the JobKeeper program beyond March, as that scheme subsidises existing jobs. 

If the wage subsidies for young workers follow the same formula as the ones for apprentices and trainees, this would mean employers could be eligible for a subsidy to cover 50% of the wages of a new hire for 12 months, with a quarterly cap on payments. 

The ‘Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements’ subsidies will cost the government $1.2 billion, and will be in place until September 30, 2021. 

Speaking to the media on Tuesday morning, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said this year’s budget is “all about jobs”. 

“Our plan will create jobs. This is all about jobs,” he said.

“It’s all about helping those who are out of a job get a job.

“It’s all about helping those that are in work stay in work.

“Our plan will create opportunity. Our plan will drive investment. Our plan will grow the economy and guarantee the essential services Australian rely on.”

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