25 June 2021 ·

Keep your business thriving with more support

Government incentives make it easier for business to hire and train apprentices.
Government incentives make it easier for business to hire and train apprentices.

Over the last twelve months we’ve witnessed the impact COVID-19 has had across the board. While many businesses are bouncing back, there’s still a long way to go before returning to ‘business as usual’. One of many things we’ve noticed is how difficult it’s been for businesses to hire apprentices, and for apprentices to find jobs.

While the need is there, so too is the caution. Many are wary about committing the time and money required to train an apprentice, and with so much uncertainty it’s understandable. 

To help out we’ve rolled up our sleeves and done the research. We’ve been able to uncover some government incentives that provide financial help to businesses, specifically for the hiring of apprentices. 

Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements (BAC)

This incentive supports businesses, and Group Training Organisations, taking on new or returning apprentices (or trainees).

Any business employing an apprentice (or trainee) between October 5, 2020, and March 31, 2022, could be eligible for a 50% wage subsidy from the government. This covers a 12-month period from the date of commencement, with a maximum of $7,000 a quarter. There is no limit to the amount of eligible apprentices you can claim for.

If you’ve already employed an apprentice or trainee, you may be eligible to claim the wage subsidy before the end of this financial year. 

Eligibility Criteria:

  • You employ an apprentice between 5 October 2020 and 31 March 2022, and
  • Your apprentice (or trainee) is studying a Certificate II or higher with a recognise educator. 

Key Information:

  • Available to employers of any size, industry or geographic location in Australia
  • Apprentices already receiving other wage subsidies, such as Supporting Apprentices and Trainees, JobKeeper or the JobMaker Hiring Credit, cannot claim this incentive
  • Payments are made in arrears quarterly, with first claims being available from January 1, 2021
  • Final payment claims to be lodged by June 30, 2023
  • 5,000 gateway services places will be made available to women apprentices in non-traditional trade occupations. 

Additional Identified Skills Shortage payment incentive (AISS)

While the Boosting Apprenticeships Commencement incentive is open to all apprentices, the AISS is specifically for apprentices entering one of ten industries experiencing national skills shortages.

The aim of the AISS is to grow apprentice numbers, and encourage others to become apprentices within these industries. 

Eligible Occupations:

  • Carpenters and Joiners
  • Plumbers
  • Hairdressers
  • Airconditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics
  • Bricklayers and Stonemasons
  • Plasterers
  • Bakers and Pastrycooks
  • Vehicle Painters
  • Wall and Floor Tilers
  • Aborists

Key Information:

  • You will only be able to claim for apprentices deemed additional to your usual intake. If you normally take on two, you can only claim if you take on a third
  • The apprentice needs to be new to your business and starting a Certificate III or IV course relating to one of the above jobs
  • You can apply for the incentive through the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN), who will help assess your eligibility 
  • Payments will be made directly to the employer’s bank account 
  • If you claim the AISS, tax will not be withheld, you will need to declare it as income with the ATO. 

Support for Adult Australian Apprentices (SAAA)

The SAAA is specifically for apprentices considered adults or mature-aged (21 years and above). The SAA has been designed to work as an incentive for businesses to hire older apprentices, giving them $4,000 once the apprentice completes 12 months of training.

Eligibility Criteria:

The apprentice is considered an ‘adult’ if they are 21 years of age and started on or after July 1, 2019. Or, if they are 25 years of age and started before July 1, 2019

The apprentice must be studying for a Certificate III or IV - full-time or part-time - for an occupation on the National Skills Needs List

The apprentice is officially being paid no less then minimum wage.

Key Information:

  • The employer will receive SAAA payments
  • Payments will be made directly to the employer’s bank account
  • You can apply through the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN)
  • Tax will not be withheld. SAAA payments must be declared to the ATO as income. 

Disabled Australian Apprentice Wage Support (DAAWS)

For those looking to give an opportunity to apprentices with a disability, the DAAWS incentive provides employers with the means to do so. Additional support will be provided in the form of tutorials, interpreters and mentor services. 

Eligibility Criteria:

  • The apprentice must meet the disability eligibility criteria 
  • Apprentices who become disabled during their apprenticeship are also eligible to claim.

Key Information:

  • Tutorial, interpreter and mentor services are only available for off-the-job training. 
  • The above assistance will only be payable to the registered training organisation conducting off-site-training 
  • Further information can be obtained through Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN).

For More Information

So, there you have it. Four varying types of government incentives. The tip of the iceberg. If they don’t fit your needs, there are plenty more out there.

For more information on other apprenticeship incentives visit the Australian Apprenticeships Employer Incentives page.