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Job seekers are being offered cash incentives as Australia struggles with a job skills shortage and unemployment remains at a record low. Today the Albanese Government updated the Australian Apprenticeships Priority List, adding almost 40 new occupations and offering cash incentives to Aussies who sign up for an apprenticeship and support for those who employ them.
From swimming coaches, youth workers, beauty therapists and even blacksmiths, these skilled occupations are now in desperate need of more trained workers. As a result, these roles and many others will increase the number of occupations eligible for additional support, including up to $5,000 in direct payments to apprentices, and a wage subsidy of up to $15,000 for employers.
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Minister for Skills and Training, the Hon Brendan O’Connor MP, said widespread skill shortage was one of the biggest economic challenges in decades with the latest analysis showing 47 per cent of trade and technician occupations are in shortage, up from 42 per cent in 2021.
“Providing targeted support to increase the uptake and completion of apprenticeships in critical sectors is essential to plugging the skills gaps we face. The expanded list will benefit occupations and industries like Electronic Equipment Trades Workers, Screen Printers, Swimming Coaches, Shearers, Veterinary Nurses and Travel Consultants,” he said.
While participation in apprenticeships has been falling, getting apprentices to complete their training and move fully into their chosen industry has also been a challenge with full participation rates falling to just 55.7%
"Apprentice completion rates have been steadily declining over the past decade and we must arrest that decline to provide meaningful career pathways and jobs where the industry needs them," O'Connor said.
The expansion of the number of occupations covered by the Australian Apprenticeship Priority List is welcome news to builders around the country says Master Builders Acting CEO Shaun Schmitke.
“The industry will need around 470,000 new workers to offset an ageing population and meet demand for housing over the next few years and replace workers that leave the industry. “The Federal Government has heard the cries of builders in recent months who have been grappling with labour shortages.” he said.
Scmitke also said that wage subsidies for employers will make a positive impact on employers to assist them to take on apprentices and that the direct payments to the workers will help support the completion rate
“Apprentice payments incentivise them to stay in their training and assist with the cost of living pressures. Eligible building and construction apprentices will receive $5,000 in four payments during their apprenticeships,” he said.
Go to Australian apprenticeships for more information on the scheme.
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