Employers are winning when appointing an apprentice

With the Australian government announcing a reform into the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector to boost declining apprentice numbers, there has never been a better time for employers to employ and train an apprentice.

Employers looking to bring on an apprentice are being encouraged to do so, with businesses being eligible for numerous incentives.

All businesses are eligible to claim a $1,500 payment upon hiring an apprentice, with a further $2,500 payment received once the apprentice has completed the apprenticeship.

Additionally, funding has been made accessible to employers of apprentices in occupations that have been listed under the National Skills Needs List (NSNL). Businesses in occupations listed under the NSNL receive a further $4,000 at the 12-month point, if the apprentice is aged 21 years or older.

Cash incentives of up to $1,000 are available for employers in rural and regional areas, or those who hire mature-aged, school-based or adult apprentices. Businesses may also claim a $750 incentive for recommencing an apprentice who has left their original employer part way through their apprenticeship.
Before hiring an apprentice, employers should talk to an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network to discuss what financial incentives are available to them.

As part of the Queensland Government’s free apprenticeships for under 21’s scheme, apprentices under the age of 21 in one of 139 priority apprenticeships and traineeship qualifications specified by the government will have the cost of their training covered – another incentive for business owners to consider.

While employing an apprentice can be a rewarding investment for many employers, there are still roles and obligations that must be met to ensure the apprentice receives adequate levels of support.

It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the apprentice receives a wage equal to or greater than the figure listed in the relevant Award or National Employment Standards.

Employers in the automotive industry will commonly abide by the Vehicle Manufacturing, Repair, Services and Retail Award 2010. Under this award, apprentices must be paid for all hours spent working at the business or in formal training. For an apprentice’s wage to be paid, a formal training contract between the apprentice and employing business must be registered with a state training authority.

Apprentices are also entitled to regular wage increases based on competencies achieved or time-based. It is the employer’s responsibility to be alert to any milestones achieved by the apprentice and act accordingly.

Source: Motor Trader E-Magazine (Nov 2019)

7 Nov 2019