$7.8 bn to deliver generational skilling across the nation

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Rerresentational image. Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

The Morrison Government continues to invest in Australia’s workforce as part of our plan for a stronger future.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia’s apprentices, trainees and workers building their skills were key to delivering a stronger economy.

“By backing Australian apprentices and trainees we’re getting more people ready for the jobs that will set them up for life,” the Prime Minister said.

“These investments will mean more skilled workers, lower unemployment, and a stronger future not just for apprentices and trainees, but for Australia.”

Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business Stuart Robert said the measures announced in the 2022-23 Budget would ensure a pipeline of skilled workers for the Australian economy—delivering generational skilling, not generational scarring, an official press release said.

“Our efforts to protect the next generation of Australian workers from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have paid off, with low unemployment and a record number of trade apprentices,” Minister Robert said.

“The Morrison Government will now build on that success, so that Australians have high-quality well-paid jobs, and businesses have the trained staff they need to thrive well into the future.

“We will provide a record $7.8 billion this financial year to deliver generational skilling across the nation, with a heavy focus on supporting apprentices and trainees.

“The Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements and Completing Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidies will be extended for an additional three months.

“This takes our investment in Australian Apprenticeships under Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements, Completing Apprenticeship Commencements to $5.8 billion and leverages the momentum over the past 18 months that saw the number of trade apprentices in-training supercharged to a record level of around 220,000.”

Minister Robert said these successful programs will be replaced by a new system of incentives from 1 July 2022 to continue to drive apprenticeship numbers even further.

“We will invest $2.4 billion in a new Australian Apprentices Incentives System, with targeted incentives to employers, apprentices and trainees,” Minister Robert said.

“The Australian Apprenticeships Incentive System will build on the success of the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidy and focus government investment on priority occupations that face skills shortages. It will replace the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program and will be introduced in two phases to help businesses as they continue our economic recovery.

“From 1 July 2022, the Australian Apprenticeships Incentive System will provide broad support to the economy through wage subsidies for employers in priority occupations and hiring incentives for employers in non-priority occupations. Apprentices and trainees in priority occupations will also receive a generous direct payment of up to $5,000 over two years to assist with the cost of undertaking an apprenticeship.

“As we move into the second phase, the Australian Apprenticeships Incentive System will shift to supporting occupations in demand or skills need, with a hiring incentive of up to $4,000 to be provided for employers in priority occupations, as well as a new Australian Apprentices Training Support Payment of up to $3,000 paid directly to apprentices in priority occupations.

“It will be guided by a new Australian Apprenticeships Priority List, which sets out the occupations with an apprenticeship or traineeship pathway that have strong current and future demand. The list is based on the National Skills Commission analysis and will be updated every year.”

Young Australians will also benefit with more support provided for young apprentices aged 15 to 20 years to improve their chances of completing their training, whether they’re in the cities or across regional Australia.

The Government is also providing $38.6 million to encourage more women to undertake non-traditional trade apprenticeships through guaranteed Gateway Service places, in-training support and targeted mentoring services to be provided by the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network. These additional services will help encourage more women to commence, and complete, apprenticeships in male-dominated trades like plumbing and bricklaying.

Minister Robert said the successful JobTrainer Fund will be expanded, with the Government investing a further $49.5 million over two years, contingent on matched funding from states. This will deliver up to an additional 15,000 free or low-fee places through the Aged Care Boost to support Australia’s aged care workforce through to 31 December 2023.

“This brings total investment under JobTrainer to $2.1 billion, funding more than 478,000 training places, in partnership with state and territory governments,” Minister Robert said

“Building on the success of JobTrainer and the record investment in skills, the Morrison Government is committing up to $12 billion over five years in support of the new National Skills Agreement (NSA) with states and territories.

“Under this measure, the Morrison Government is providing an additional $3.7 billion as part of the 2022-23 Budget, on top of the $8.3 billion National Skills and Workforce Development Specific Purpose Payment.

“The National Skills Agreement, once agreed, will transform the way all governments support vocational education and training by ensuring greater national consistency, and that investment decisions are transparent, evidence-based and linked to skills need.

‘This agreement has the potential to deliver around 800,000 additional training places over five years. It will reduce the number of students facing unreasonably high fees and improve access to free and low-fee training for priority students and courses.”

Minister Robert said the Morrison Government is implementing a new National Workforce Strategy to underpin a new workforce policy environment. The Strategy outlines a new vision for a more dynamic, responsive and capable workforce to drive employment, economic growth, productivity and prosperity.

“This Strategy will inform and shape the development of workforce policy and sector-specific workforce strategies across the economy,” Minister Robert said.

“Importantly, the Strategy reflects the Morrison Government’s five guiding principles of workforce policy: using data, equipping Australians with in-demand skills, removing barriers to work, activating industry, and targeted migration.

“The Morrison Government has also announced the National Care and Support Workforce Strategy, with $249.1 million invested over four years to address workforce pressures across this vital sector.”

Minister Robert said the Morrison Government remains committed to ensuring young people, women and Indigenous Australians get the support they need to secure a new job.

“A new pre-employment program for young people aged 15-24 will help build the capacity of disadvantaged youth so they can connect with and benefit from existing youth employment programs to ensure they are not left behind in the economic recovery,” Minister Robert said.

“The Morrison Government will provide $52.8 million over five years to support Workforce Australia and implement ReBoot, which will engage experienced community organisations to help an estimated 5,000 young Australians to build their confidence and capabilities, so they can get back on a pathway to employment.”

The Morrison Government’s record investment in skills and training is seeing hundreds of thousands of Australians—including a record number of women—getting skilled and taking up jobs, which is why the Government will continue the momentum of skilling for women through a $3.9 million program to support more women to take up roles in the digital technology sector.

“This program will include access to resources, online training, coaching and mentoring to support women pursue a mid-career transition into the tech workforce, to be undertaken in partnership with industry,” Minister Robert said.

The Government’s Time to Work Employment Service will be extended to June 2023, providing voluntary, in-prison employment services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to help them prepare for employment. An extra $3.2 million in funding will be used to better connect them with relevant services and assistance post-release.

“The Morrison Government will continue to encourage Australians and temporary visa holders to take up seasonal work in regional, rural and remote locations across the country, with the extension and expansion of the AgMove program until the end of 2022,” Minister Robert said.

“This will further support the vital agricultural sector by removing financial barriers for job seekers to undertake short-term agricultural work as part of a program that has also backed more than 8,000 people to make the move. It allows Australians to claim a reimbursement of up to $6,000 for short-term relocation costs, while eligible temporary visa holders can claim up to $2,000.

“We will continue to provide, through the National Careers Institute, career guidance services to job seekers aged 25 years and older who are engaged in Digital Services as part of Workforce Australia.

“The six-month trial of these services will be extended for a further six months, at a cost of $1.5 million to ensure all digital job seekers have access to the best advice about their career options and emerging opportunities.

“The Morrison Government will also expand the eligibility for participation in Local Recovery Fund activities to job seekers self-managing through the Government’s digital services employment system. The Local Recovery Fund invests in tailored projects that connect job seekers with opportunities in their local communities and provides employers with the staff they need.

The measures outlined in the 2022-23 Budget will deliver a stronger future with more jobs, putting businesses on a secure footing and providing invaluable opportunities for Australians and their families into the future.


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