Apprenticeships Incentives review welcomed by industry

The national employer association Ai Group has welcomed the announcement today by the Minister for Skills and Training, Brendan O’Connor, of a strategic review of the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Regime.

“The Review is a welcome step towards ensuring the incentive regime supports the needs of a modern economy that builds a breadth of skills across broad cohorts,” Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, said today.

“Financial incentives are an important factor in supporting employers to take on apprentices and trainees, and in supporting apprentices and trainees to complete their training contracts. For an employer, the cost of supervising and training an apprentice can sometimes be prohibitive. Well-targeted financial incentives can help ease those impediments. For the apprentices themselves, incentives to encourage them to see their training contract out to the end will help improve completion rates, which remain stubbornly low.

“Skill shortages are an acute and protracted problem in our economy and a high performing apprenticeship system has a central role to play in developing skills in demand,” Mr Willox said.

The Review will look at: 1. How the Incentive System and complementary services are performing in helping the take up and completion of apprenticeships and traineeships.

2. The impact that cost-of-living pressures is having on apprentices and trainees.

3. How the Apprenticeship System can best support high quality apprenticeships and traineeships, including the roles of government support, workplace conditions and culture, and employers.

4. If the current system is creating a training environment encouraging women, First Nations people, people with disability and people in regional, rural and remote communities into apprenticeships and traineeships.

5. How the Incentive System can be aligned with the priorities in the 2023 Employment White Paper and the Australian Government’s broader economic objectives.

Ai Group looks forward to contributing to the Review which will be co-chaired by former federal judge and President of the Fair Work Commission, Iain Ross, and former Commonwealth departmental secretary, Lisa Paul.

/Public Release. View in full here.