Apprenticeship wage subsidy for regional employers

5 November 2018

Employers in regional and rural areas, working in the automotive industry and beyond, are in the sight of the Liberal and Nationals’ Government –  the parties set to invest $60 million to trial a wage subsidy, to begin from 1 January 2019.

To be eligible, the employer must have not previously employed an Australian apprentice or have not employed an Australian apprentice in the three-year period prior to 1 January 2019. In this way, the trial is designed to incentivise employers who, up until this point, have been disillusioned by their experience with apprentices, whilst also aiming to attract new employers to the system. The eligibility of Group Training Organisations is yet to be confirmed.

Recently, Minister for Small and Family Business, Skills and Vocational Education, Senator Michaelia Cash, spoke of the initiative that would see up to 1,630 new Australian apprentices.

“There are 3.3 million Australian small businesses which contribute around $395 billion annually to our economy. Small business plays a vital role in our community, from giving young Australians their first real job to supporting our local charities and sporting organisations,” said Senator Cash.

Payments to eligible employers will be based on the apprentice’s relevant award wage rate.

“Subsidies will be provided at 75 per cent of the apprentice’s award wage in the first year, followed with 50 per cent in the second year and 25 per cent in the third year,” added Cash.

This initiative is sure to be welcomed with open arms by Victorians, working to boost regional and rural community employment rates and being a positive step in the right direction in terms of combating the wider skill shortage across the automotive and other industries.

For more information and to download an eligibility fact sheet, head to the Australian Apprenticeships website: 


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