What is the JobTrainer Program?
The JobTrainer Program is a new scheme that will provide Australians access to new skills by retraining and upskilling them into sectors with job opportunities, as the economy recovers from COVID-19. This program 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 Australian Government has announced a $2 billion JobTrainer skills package, to reform the Vocational Education and Training sector and keep apprentices in jobs. In partnership with the states and territories, more Australians will have access to free, or low cost, training places in areas of identified skills needs through the establishment of a new $1 billion JobTrainer fund.
The JobTrainer Program will include $500 million from the Australian Government this year, with a matched contribution being sought from state and territory governments. The JobTrainer fund will provide for around 340,700 additional training places to help school leavers and job seekers gain the skills they need to get a job. A further $1.5 billion will be made available to expand and extend the Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy. Eligibility for the subsidy will be expanded to include medium-sized businesses with 199 employees or fewer who had an apprentice in place on 1 July 2021.
The wage subsidy will also be extended to March 2021.
The Government is supporting small business to retain their apprentices and trainees. Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice or trainee’s wages paid until 31 March 2021.
In addition to the existing support for small businesses, medium-sized businesses will now be eligible for the subsidy, for wages paid from 1 July 2020 – 31 March 2021.
Subsidies will also be available to any new employer who re-engages an eligible apprentice that was displaced by an eligible small or medium sized business.
Your small business may be eligible if:
- you employ fewer than 20 people; or
- you’re a small business with fewer than 20 people, using a Group Training Organisation
- the apprentice or trainee was undertaking an Australian Apprenticeship with you on 1 July 2020 for claims after this date. Claims prior to 1 July 2020, will continue to be based on the 1 March 2020 eligibility date.
Your medium-sized business may be eligible if:
- you employ 199 people or fewer; or
- you’re a medium business with 199 people or fewer, using a Group Training Organisation
- the apprentice or trainee was undertaking an Australian Apprenticeship with you on 1 July 2020
Any employer (including all small, medium or large businesses and Group Training Organisations) who re-engages an apprentice or trainee displaced from an eligible small or medium business may also be eligible for the subsidy.
Claims from small businesses are now open, while claims from medium-sized businesses will open on 1 October 2020. Final claims for payment must be lodged by 30 June 2021.
The Morrison Government will invest $2 billion 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.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the JobTrainer package was focused on getting people into jobs.
“JobTrainer will ensure more Australians have the chance to reskill or upskill to fill the jobs on the other side of this crisis,” the Prime Minister said.
“COVID-19 is unprecedented but I want Australians to be ready for the sorts of jobs that will come as we build back and recover.
“The jobs and skills we’ll need as we come out of the crisis are not likely to be the same as those that were lost.”
The package also includes an additional $1.5 billion to expand the wage incentive to help keep apprentices in work. It builds 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.
Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business Michaelia Cash said the JobTrainer package would form a vital part of the national recovery efforts.
“Our nation has faced many challenges, and it is critical that we keep our apprentices in jobs and help those looking for work,” Minister Cash said.
“This package will be essential as the economy rebuilds so that people looking for work can reskill and upskill for in-demand jobs, provide school leavers with a pathway into their careers, and ensure businesses are able to get the skilled workers they need.”
Minister Cash said the National Skills Commission would play a critical role in identifying current and future skills needed in a challenging and changing labour market.
“We will work with States and Territories to develop a list of qualifications and skill sets that will provide job seekers with the skills that are in demand by employers and are critical to the economic recovery.”
Assistant Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships Steve Irons said the expanded waged subsidy would more than double the number of supported apprentices and trainees.
“The Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy will now help almost 90,000 businesses employing around 180,000 apprentices and trainees throughout Australia,” Assistant Minister Irons said.
“This will dramatically improve the viability of tens of thousands of apprenticeships and the businesses employing them right across the country.”
States and territories need to sign up to a new Heads of Agreement to access JobTrainer funding, with the agreement setting out immediate reforms to improve the vocational education and training sector, and providing the foundation for long term improvements as outlined by the Prime Minister in his recent speech to the National Press Club.