The Prime Minister has announced a $2 billion program to give hundreds of thousands of Australians access to new skills by retraining and upskilling them into sectors with job opportunities, as the economy recovers from COVID-19.
The JobTrainer skills package will also guarantee support for thousands of apprentices in jobs across the country by subsidising their wages to keep them employed and their training secured.
The new $1 billion JobTrainer program will provide up to an additional 340,700 training places to help school leavers and job seekers access short and long courses 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 matched contributions from state and territory governments.
The package also includes an additional $1.5 billion to expand the wage incentive to help keep apprentices in work, building 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 that employ 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 $7,000 per quarter.
HVIA met with the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC) Manufacturing Taskforce in May to address growth and resilience.
HVIA raised workforce and skills issues as well as the need for a R&D and re-tooling fund to help Australian manufacturers pivot during this pandemic.
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