Almost $20 million will be spent over four years to provide business and finance training to newly-qualified tradespeople in order to help them start their own businesses.
The $19.4 million boost builds on the $3 billion invested over six years in last year’s budget, through the Building Australia’s Future Workforce package.
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Grants of up to $5,000 will be available for 500 people in 2012-13, and then 1,000 people each year from 2013-14.
People can apply for a grant within two years of completing a trade-related apprenticeship.
According to Minister for Skills, Chris Evans, the new funding will ensure more tradespeople – early on in their careers – get the skills they need to run their own businesses.
“It will also allow those completing their apprenticeship to access funding to cover the cost of training to improve their business-related skills – something which can be critical to the success of small businesses,” Evans said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the government is reining in its Australian Apprenticeship spending to encourage higher retention rates in non-National Skills Needs List occupations.
It’s hoped this will increase the completion incentive for employers to commit to the training of apprentices.
The government will discontinue the $1,500 standard employer commencement incentive payment for existing worker Australian Apprentices in non-National Skills Needs List occupations.
However, it will increase the standard completion incentive by $500 to $3,000.
The change recognises that employers do not face the same level of upfront cost or risk when starting an existing worker in an apprenticeship.
It also increases the incentive for them to support those employees through to the completion of their training.
The government will also move the standard commencement payment made to employers for all apprentices, from being paid three months after commencement to six months after commencement.