Morrison Government marks National Skills Week 2021 with highest funding for skills and training in Australian history

The Morrison Government has marked National Skills Week 2021 by reminding Australians of the incredible opportunities of a skilled career as hundreds of thousands make use of the skills and training pathways guaranteed through record levels of federal funding.

Given the 1,455 apprentices in Bonner and the demand for skilled workers, it is also a great reminder that it is never too late to take up a new trade or to upskill through Australia’s world-class vocational education and training sector.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said National Skills Week is a chance for school leavers, job seekers and anyone wanting a career change to consider a new pathway.

‘I would encourage all Bonner locals to consider taking up an apprenticeship or a traineeship because taking up a skill or a trade sets you on a path for a rewarding career,’ Mr Vasta said.

‘This National Skills Week I am proud to be part of a Government that is guaranteeing pathways to a better future for Australians through record funding of skills and training, whether it is our $2 billion JobTrainer fund or our $3.9 billion investment in wage subsidies for apprentices and trainees we are putting money on the table to deliver opportunities to get into high-quality jobs in our community.’

‘Everywhere you look, Australians are making a difference by doing incredible things with world-leading skills developed right here in our backyard.”

Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, Stuart Robert, said that while this National Skills Week would be held virtually, a skilled career promised significant opportunities out in the real world.

‘This National Skills Week is a chance for all Australians to consider having a crack at vocational education and training and remind everyone about the amazing opportunities a skilled career can generate for you and your family,’ Minister Robert said.

‘These opportunities are guaranteed by the Morrison Government which is backing Australians to take up new skills with the highest spend on skills and training in Australia’s history, $6.4 billion just this financial year,’

‘This includes a two-year extension of the $2 billion JobTrainer fund, offering free or low-fee training to Australians, jointly funded with state and territory governments. To date the JobTrainer fund has supported over 230,000 Australians upskill and break into new career opportunities.’

National Skills Week will see events and webinars held across the country aiming to help Australians unlock their potential and gain real skills for real careers.

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$2 Billion skills package to deliver economic growth in Bonner

The Morrison Government will invest $2 billion to give hundreds of thousands of Australians access to new skills by retraining and upskilling them into sectors with job opportunities.

The new JobTrainer skills package will also guarantee support for tens of thousands of apprentices in jobs across Australia, including the Bonner electorate, by subsidising their wages to keep them employed and training secured.

The new $1 billion JobTrainer Fund will provide up to an additional 340,700 training places across Australia to help school leavers and job seekers access pre-apprenticeships, short courses and full qualifications to develop new skills in growth sectors and create a pathway to more qualifications.

Courses will be free or low cost in areas of identified need, with the Federal Government providing $500 million with contributions matched by State and Territory Governments.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the JobTrainer skills package was focused on getting people into jobs.

“JobTrainer will ensure more Australians have the chance to reskill or upskill to fill the jobs on the other side of this crisis,” the Prime Minister said.

“COVID-19 is unprecedented, but I want Australians to be ready for the sorts of jobs that will come as we build back and recover.”

The package also includes an additional $1.5 billion to expand the wage incentive to help keep apprentices in work, which builds on the initial $1.3 billion package announced in March.

In addition to small businesses already covered, the wage subsidy will now be available to medium businesses with less than 200 employees for apprentices employed as at 1 July 2020.

Around 180,000 apprentices and 90,000 small and medium businesses employing them will now be supported, with the program extended by six months to March 2021.

The initiative covers 50 per cent of the wages paid to apprentices and trainees, up to $7000 per quarter.

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business Michaelia Cash said the JobTrainer skills package would form a vital part of the national recovery efforts.

“Our nation has faced many challenges, and it is critical we keep our apprentices in jobs and help those looking for work,” Minister Cash said.

“This package will be essential as the economy rebuilds so people looking for work can reskill and upskill for in-demand jobs, provide school leavers with a pathway into their careers, and ensure businesses are able to get the skilled workers they need.”

Assistant Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships Steve Irons said the expanded wage subsidy would more than double the number of supported apprentices and trainees.

“The Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy will now help almost 90,000 businesses employing around 180,000 apprentices and trainees throughout Australia,” Assistant Minister Irons said.

“This will dramatically improve the viability of tens of thousands of apprenticeships and the businesses employing them right across the country.”

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the Skills Package would provide a much-needed boost to jobseekers and school leavers in his electorate to ensure jobseekers were trained in the skills needed by our local businesses community.

“Backing training, apprentices, and jobs is all part of the Morrison Government’s plan to restore our economy after the coronavirus pandemic and keep Australians in our local area in work.,” Mr Vasta said.

States and territories need to sign up to a new Heads of Agreement to access JobTrainer funding, with the agreement setting out immediate reforms to improve the vocational education and training sector, and providing the foundation for long term improvements as outlined by the Prime Minister in his recent speech to the National Press Club.

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Support Package to keep apprentices and trainees on the job

The Morrison Government is backing apprentices and trainees as part of the government’s economic response to the Coronavirus.

The $1.3 billion measure will ensure up to 70,000 small businesses can keep around 117,000 apprentices and trainees across the country in work and training.

The investment is part of the broader $17.6 billion package, designed to keep Australians in jobs and businesses in business.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the Morrison Government had acted quickly to support small businesses in Bonner to retain their apprentices and trainees as part of the government’s Economic Response to the Coronavirus.

“This assistance will support our local businesses in Bonner to manage cash-flow challenges and help small businesses retain their apprentices and trainees,” Mr Vasta said.

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash said apprentices and trainees were critical to meeting the skills needs of Australian employers.

“We want them to keep learning, keep getting those essential skills that our economy needs to keep business turning over, not just now, but well into the future,” Minister Cash said.

A 50 per cent wage subsidy of up to $21,000 will be available to small businesses which employ fewer than 20 full time employees, including those using a Group Training Organisation, to retain their apprentice or trainee.

The subsidy will also be available to businesses of any size and Group Training Organisations that re-engage an eligible apprentice or trainee who would otherwise lose their job.

Assistant Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships, the Hon Steve Irons MP said along with our $585 million Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow package, this measure would ensure the Morrison Government continued the heavy lifting of building the skilled workforce our economy needs.

“We know industry needs more workers with technical, trade and practical skills,” Assistant Minister Irons said.

“We are backing Australians through incentives, funding and reform to ensure that the sector can deliver the skilled and responsive workforce to meet these needs.”

The new measure is in addition to existing apprenticeships incentives under the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program.

Businesses can register to be assessed for eligibility from April 2, 2020. To be eligible for the wage subsidy the apprentice or trainee must have been in-training with a small business as at March 1, 2020.

Further information on how to apply for the subsidy, including information on eligibility is available at:

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