The Liberal National Government has announced a $27.7 million initiative, put in place to encourage businesses to take on an apprentice between the age of 21 and 24 years.
From July 1 2019, eligibility for the Support for Adult Australian Apprentices (SAAA) payment will be extended to encompass employers who take on an apprentice aged 21 to 24 years who is studying a Certificate III or IV qualification.
Previously, the one-off $4000 incentive was limited to employers who engaged an apprentice 25 years or over.
According to Minister for Small and Family Business, Skills and Vocational Education, Senator Michaelia Cash, the incentive extension will support 12,500 apprentices over three years from 2019-20.
The announcement follows the Fair Work Commission’s determination that the previous arrangement created a disincentive for businesses to take on an apprentice in their early-twenties, resulting in a decline in adult apprentices within that age bracket.
Cash went on to say that the Government was delivering an apprenticeship system that worked for all Australians.
“Older apprentices are some of the best workers in our community. The experience and maturity they bring to their apprenticeship – after years of studying or working elsewhere – are highly valued by employers.”