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Training Groups Warn On Apprentice Budget Released In Australia

Training providers warn more support is needed for people to finish their apprenticeships after the subsidy was allocated.

CANBERRA, Australia — Training providers have warned the federal budget plan to extend wage subsidies for apprentices could be a short-term sugar hit because of high drop-out rates.

The Morrison government will spend AU$2.7 billion ($2.09 billion) over the next four years extending cash payments to businesses that hire trainees and apprentices.

Employers who put people on between Oct 5, 2020, and March 31, 2022, will qualify for the scheme, which reimburses up to 50 percent of wages for a year, up to AU$ 7000 ($5407) a quarter.

Apprenticeship Employment Network executive director Gary Workman said subsidies were useful in the short term, but more support was needed for people to finish qualifications.

The network assists people to deliver the best training outcomes and employment opportunities.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is taught to make pasta by apprentice chef Oliver Benz during a visit to Signorelli Gastronomia in Sydney. (Dean Lewins/AAP Image)

“Statistics show that over 42 percent of apprentices are going to drop out of their training before they become skilled workers,” he said on May 13.

“That means without serious changes to the system, almost half of the Morrison government’s apprenticeship budget is going down the toilet.”

Workman said group training organizations needed more funding to provide support to apprentices and businesses.

“Structural reform is necessary to avoid the same mistakes Australia made after the Global Financial Crisis,” he said.

“When stimulus wage subsidies ended, employers returned to importing skilled labor and youth unemployment didn’t recover.”

The Morrison government will spend AU$2.7 billion ($2.09 billion) over the next four years extending cash payments to businesses that hire trainees and apprentices. (Lukas Coch/AAP Image)

Treasury expects the program to support more than 170,000 new apprentices. On budget night, Employment Minister Stuart Robert described the subsidy program as highly successful.

“This additional AU$ 1.5 billion ($1.16 billion) investment will support the employment of newly commencing apprentices and trainees, assisting school leavers and job seekers during the peak hiring period for key industries,” he said on May 11.

Stuart Rowland Robert is an Australian Liberal Party politician appointed as Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business by Prime Minister Scott Morrison in his Ministerial reshuffle in March 2021.

The global financial crisis (GFC) or global economic crisis is commonly believed to have begun sometime in early to mid-2007 with a credit crunch when a loss of confidence by United States investors in the value of sub-prime mortgages caused a liquidity crisis.

This, in turn, resulted in the United States Federal Reserve injecting a large amount of capital into financial markets. By September 2008, the crisis had worsened as stock markets around the globe crashed and became highly volatile. Consumer confidence hit rock bottom as many investors tightened their belts in fear of what could lie ahead.

(Edited by Vaibhav Vishwanath Pawar and Ritaban Misra)

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