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Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements: What does this mean for me?

Update

Eligibility requirements for the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidy have changed from Wednesday 28 October.

These changes affect the eligibility of existing workers. The updated Department of Education, Skills and Employment Fact Sheet has the following information about these changes:

From 28 October 2020, your business or Group Training Organisation may be eligible to attract a subsidy for up to 30 existing workers who commence a non-trade Australian Apprenticeship on or after 28 October 2020 if they:

  • move from casual employment to a part-time or full-time Australian Apprenticeship; or
  • move from part-time employment to a full-time Australian Apprenticeship.

No limit will apply where the existing worker commences a trades-based Australian Apprenticeship. 

For information on you or your staff member's eligibility, contact an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider. To discuss how an Australian Apprenticeship might work for you, get in touch via or contact form or give us a call.

The Australian Government has announced a new program called 'Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements'. It is designed to assist job seekers into Australian Apprenticeship jobs, and to help employers take on new staff.

This program is part of the COVID-19 economic recovery. It is available across all industries and to businesses of all sizes.

Here we break down what this means for you if you are an employer, a job hunter, or an apprentice who lost their job during COVID-19.

Employers

The Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidy program is available to employers of any size, in any industry. Unlike some other wage subsidies and incentives, this means that employers with any number of employees can take on an apprentice or trainee in any approved occupation.

It is important to note that this must be into an approved Australian Apprenticeships Training Contract - so you will need to contact an Australian Apprenticeships Support Network provider to sign up the apprentice or trainee. The Training Contract then needs to be approved by the State Training Authority. This is the same process as any other Australian Apprenticeship sign up.

Employers can only recieve one wage subsidy per apprentice or trainee. This means that employers who are recieving JobKeeper or the Supporting Apprentices and Trainees (SAT) wage subsidy can not also receive the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidy for the same apprentice or trainee. You can get different wage subsidies for different apprentices or trainees.

Key Questions for Employers

How do I apply for the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidy?

Your Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider will give you the form needed to apply. If you need any help with your application, or have any questions about your eligibility, you should contact your AASN provider.

When does the wage subsidy start and finish?

From Monday 5 October, all newly commenced or recommenced apprentices and trainees may be eligible. Your AASN provider will discuss this with you when they do the Training Contract sign up.

How soon do I have to apply to get one of the 100,000 places?

This wage subsidy program is limited to 100,000 places, but there is no way to say how quickly these will be filled. If you are ready to sign up an apprentice or trainee, you should contact an AASN provider as soon as possible to organise the sign up.

It is important not to rush your hiring process and take on the wrong person, just to get someone signed up quickly. If you are interested in taking on an apprentice or trainee but need help finding a good candidate, you should talk with a Group Training Organisation or AASN provider who can help match you with a pre-screened job hunter.

Are all apprentices and trainees eligible?

The wage subsidy is available for apprentices and trainees studying towards a Certificate II or higher qualification, in an approved training contract. This means that the eligibility requirements are related to becoming an apprentice or trainee, such as being an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or on a suitable visa. Your AASN provider can discuss these eligibility requirements with you.

Update: eligibility requirements for existing workers have changed from Wednesday 28 October. Some existing workers are eligible, but others will not be. Please contact your AASN provider to discuss how this may affect you.

How and when will the wage subsidy get paid?

The wage subsidy will get paid at the end of the quarter into the employers nominated bank account. This table from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment outlines the dates that claims open, and which wage period this covers.

Date Claims Open Wage Period
1 January 2021 5 October 2020 to 31 December 2020
1 April 2021 1 January 2021 to 31 March 2021
1 July 2021 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021
1 October 2021 1 July 2021 to 30 September 2021

How much is the wage subsidy for?

The wage subsidy covers up to 50% of the apprentice or trainees wage, to a maximum of $7000 per quarter. 

Where can I find more information on employing an apprentice or trainee?

Take a look at the Employers section on this website, where you can find information on the benefits of employing an Australian Apprentice, how to find candidates, and information on managing your apprentices and trainees.

Job hunters

The first thing that job hunters need to know about this program is that it won't affect your wages as an apprentice or trainee. The way that Boosing Apprenticeship Commencements is designed means that the employer pays your full wage, but the Government then gives the employer a part of the wage back.

This wage subsidy is designed to encourage employers to take on new apprentices and trainees. This means there will be more employers recruiting apprentices and trainees, across a huge range of industries!

There are no additional eligibility requirements for apprentices and trainees to take part in this program. It is available across all industries and occupations, there are no age requirements, and it is available for everyone from school students to mature-aged career changers.

Key Questions for Job Hunters

Won't employers just get rid of the apprentice after the 1 year is over?

The wage subsidy only covers one year of wages, so the employer will have to start paying the full apprentice or trainee wage after that time is over.

Many traineeships run for 1 year, so if you are going into one of these occupations, this isn't something you need to think about. You can find information about the duration of the apprenticeship or traineeship in the 'Availability Information' area of the Job and Training Descriptions.

For apprenticeships and traineeships that are longer than 1 year, the employer will only get the wage subsidy for the first part of the Australian Apprenticeship.

It is unlikely that employers will lay off their apprentices and trainees after the wage subsidy ends. The wages for Australian Apprenticeships are already designed to help the employer cover the costs of training up the apprentice. After one year of working and training, the apprentice or trainee will be more capable of undertaking the tasks needed by the employer, and are therefore more of a benefit for the employer to have on staff.

If you are worried about starting an Australian Apprenticeship but not having an employer for the full duration, you should check out Group Training Organisations (GTOs). These organisations hire apprentices and trainees, and host them out to employers for their day-to-day work. If an employer doesn't have enough, or the right kind of work, the apprentice can move to a different host employer.

If I am on a visa, will I be eligible for this program?

The usual eligibility requirements for Australian Apprenticeships apply to this program. If you are on a Visa you will need to check whether you are eligible to do an apprenticeship or traineeship. You should check your visa rules with the Department of Home Affairs. If you think you are eligible, you can contact an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider to discuss your individual circumstances.

I'm an adult, or looking for a career change. Can I still get this?

Yes! The wage subsidy is open to apprentices of all ages and all stages of their career. The only requirement is that you are eligible to be signed up into an Australian Apprenticeship. If you want to discuss your eligibility, you should contact an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider.

Update: From Wednesday 28 October some existing workers will no longer be eligible for this wage subsidy. You should contact your AASN provider for more information on eligibility.

Displaced apprentices and trainees

Australian Apprentices who lost their job during COVID-19 are eligible to be covered by the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidy, or can be covered by the Supporting Apprentices and Trainees (SAT) Wage Subsidy. This means that apprentices and trainees who have already been taken on by an employer will continue under any program they are covered by.

The Supporting Apprentices and Trainees Wage Subsidy was only available to apprentices and trainees from some employers. Those requirements do not apply for this new program, meaning that if you didn't have the SAT wage subsidy attached to you before, you now have a better chance at finding an employer to take you on.

If you are a displaced apprentice or trainee looking to get reengaged in your Australian Apprenticeship, you should register with the NAEN Apprentice and Trainee Re-engagement Register.

More information from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment

Go To Fact Sheet

Got questions about how this program might work for you? Leave a comment or question below and one of our Team will reply, or give us a call on 1800 338 022 to discuss your individual circumstances.

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