2024 Federal Budget’s Apprentice & Trainee Incentives Welcome

Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA)

The 2024 Federal Budget’s investment to support the employment of more apprentices and trainees has been welcomed by the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA), the peak body representing independent skills training, higher education, and international education providers.

The Australian Government is providing an additional $265.1 million over four years in financial support for apprentices and their employers. Under the Australian Apprenticeships Incentive System apprentices and employers in priority occupations will receive an extra $2,000 and $1,000 respectively.

“This additional funding is welcome and will help aspiring apprentices and trainees plus their potential employers,” said Troy Williams, ITECA Chief Executive.

Under the revised system, from 1 July 2024 employers taking on apprentices training in priority occupations will be eligible to receive an additional $1,000 ($5,000 in total) in incentive payments, to help subsidise costs associated with employing an apprentice. Further, apprentices undertaking training in priority occupations will be eligible to receive an additional $2,000 ($5,000 in total) in incentive payments, to assist with cost-of-living pressures and support them to finish their training.

“From construction, mining, health and hospitality the Australian Government’s investment will help more people not just into a job, but into a career,” Mr Williams said.

Apprentice payments will be restructured to be frontloaded, with apprentices receiving $3,500 in the first year and $1,500 in the second year. This will provide more assistance to apprentices when they need it most. Employers can receive up to $5,000 in the first year. Payments will be paid over two instalments, with $2,000 at six months and $3,000 at twelve months.

“The approach of the Australian Government looks to support apprentices and trainees throughout their studies has merit,” Mr Williams said.

Some employers have queried whether the additional amount will make much of a difference when it comes to apprentice and trainee recruitment and retention. ITECA notes that the Australian Government has n Strategic Review of the Australian Apprenticeship Incentive System underway that will investigate the support available to help more people start and complete apprenticeships and traineeships.

“ITECA looks forwards to ensuring that our members’ views are taken into account as this review makes its recommendations to the Australian Government,” Mr Williams said.

Independent Registered Training Organisations support 50.9% of the 365,420 apprentices and trainees in training as at September 2023 accord to the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

/Public Release.