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Apprentice wage support for small businesses

As part of the Government’s Economic Response to the Coronavirus, $1.3 billion will be made available to 70,000 small businesses to help them keep around 117,000 apprentices and trainees across the country in work and training.

What is Supporting Apprentices and Trainees?
Supporting Apprentices and Trainees provides a wage subsidy to small businesses (including those using a Group Training Organisation) to support the retention of their existing apprentices and trainees. This recognises the benefits of training already undertaken by apprentices and trainees and the significant investment made by employers.

The wage subsidy is also available to employers of any size, including a Group Training Organisation, if they re-engage an apprentice or trainee that has been displaced from a small business.

The wage subsidy will support businesses to manage cash-flow challenges and help small businesses retain their apprentices and trainees. This will help to ensure the continued development of the skilled workforce that employers need.

How much will be available to employers?
Eligible employers will receive assistance in the form of a wage subsidy reimbursed in arrears at 50 per cent of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage.

The wage subsidy will be available for a maximum of nine months, covering wages paid from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020, or paid from the date of re-employment for an apprentice or trainee who has been displaced.

Employers will be reimbursed up to a maximum of $7,000 per quarter, per eligible apprentice or trainee.

Who is eligible?
Eligible employers will receive assistance in the form of a wage subsidy reimbursed in arrears at 50 per cent of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage.

An employer who retains an apprentice or trainee in their Australian Apprenticeship may be eligible for the subsidy where:

  • the employer is a small business (with fewer than 20 employees); or
  • a small business (with fewer than 20 employees) using a Group Training Organisation; and
  • the apprentice or trainee was undertaking an Australian Apprenticeship with the employer on 1 March 2020

Any employer (including all small, medium or large businesses or Group Training Organisations) who re-engage an out-of-trade apprentice or trainee may be eligible for the subsidy where:

  • the apprentice or trainee was undertaking an Australian Apprenticeship on 1 March 2020, in a small business; and
  • the apprentice or trainee was released from the small business; and
  • the new employer or Group Training Organisation has engaged the apprentice or trainee.

When will Supporting Apprentices and Trainees be available?
Employers can register with an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider for the subsidy from 2 April 2020.

Employers will be able to access the subsidy after an eligibility assessment is undertaken by an AASN provider and following submission of a claim form and other supporting documentation by the employer.

Final claims for payment must be lodged by 31 December 2020.

How are payments made?
Payments are made directly to the recipient’s nominated bank account.

Are full-time and part-time apprentices and trainees eligible?
Yes, employers of both full-time and part-time apprentices and trainees may be eligible to attract the subsidy.

Where can employers find further information?
Contact Inscope Training on 1300 579 808 to find out more information, or to find an AASN in your area.