The Illawarra Business Chamber has today welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement that it will trial a new Australian Apprentice Wage Subsidy – a practical measure that will assist in reducing youth unemployment and help businesses address current and future skill shortages.

The announcement adopts a key recommendation of the NSW Business Chamber, which has advocated strongly on behalf of businesses across the state.
 
“This is welcome news for the businesses experiencing skills shortages across our region, as well as those young people facing barriers to ongoing employment who will now have better access to the kind of opportunities that an apprenticeship provides,” said Adam Zarth, Executive Director of the Illawarra Business Chamber.
 
“The Chamber is acutely aware of the concerns of our members in certain sectors that will be covered by this trial, which includes building and construction, hairdressing and the automotive sectors.”
 
"This measure will go some way to alleviating the costs on these employers, of taking on an apprentice, and upskilling our workforce in areas of identified need.”
 
Under the trial, employers will be incentivised to take on apprentices by subsidising apprentice wages for the first three years. 75 percent of the first year wage of an apprentice, 50 percent of the second year and 25 percent of the third year.
 
The trial will support 1,630 sign-ups and will be based on a rural and regional population distribution per state or territory.
 
“Nowra, Mittagong and Ulladulla are notable ‘hotspots’ for youth unemployment. While recent ABS Labour Force data points to improvements, measures such as this trial are critical, and we will be actively monitoring its rollout and success.” said Mr Zarth.

For further information about the National Skills Needs List, see: https://www.australianapprenticeships.gov.au/national-skills-needs-list