Skills: Dollars to take on apprentices

Billions have been allocated to increase training places and boost incentives for employers to take on apprentices in the Budget, but those looking to boost their business skills could miss out.

Just under $2 billion has been allocated to fund up to 630,000 new training places across Australia over the next six years, up from the Government’s pre-election commitment to create 450,000 new training places.

There are also several new programs to give employers more of a reason to take on apprentices, particularly where an apprentice has already obtained some lower level qualifications.

Employers will be encouraged to take on apprentices that have already obtained at least a Certificate II qualification with $26.6 billion allocated over four years for tied incentive payments.

And a small amount – $6.4 million over four years – will be allocated to improve linkages between businesses and schools.

Funds have also been allocated to make the process of bringing foreign workers into Australia less painful for business owners – $20 million over four years will be spent to improve help streamline the s457 visa process.

But, in line with its pre-election commitments, Labor has scrapped programs specifically designed to provide business skills training, including the ‘Skills for the Future – business skills vouchers for apprentices’ program.

Close to $20 million over four years will also be allocated for the establishment of Labor’s new training authority, Skills Australia.


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