70,000 jobs in $1.2b apprentice hiring bonanza
The federal government will cover half the wage of tens of thousands of new apprentices and trainees under an expected $1.2 billion expansion to a major COVID rescue package.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will today extend a trainee and apprenticeship hiring program after the original 100,000 places created in October last year were fully subscribed in less than five months.
Positions in the second phase will be uncapped with the government forecasting up to 70,000 new jobs could be created before the scheme ends on September 30.
"Last week's national accounts showed the comeback of the Australian economy is underway however many businesses still need support and it's important our apprentices and trainees get opportunities to boost their skills and stay employed," Mr Morrison said.
"With 100,000 new apprenticeship positions already snapped up, it highlights the confidence businesses have in the future of the Australian economy."
The cost for the demand-driven extension is expected to match that for the first phase of the program at $1.2bn
The scheme aided more than 25,500 job opportunities in Queensland during the first phase.
Nearly one in five jobs were in the construction services industry (4322) followed by food and beverage services (3388) and administrative services (2045).
The most popular occupations in Queensland were general clerks (1698), hospitality workers (1671) and bricklayers, carpenters and joiners (1649).
Under the scheme businesses are eligible for a 50 per cent wage subsidy for every apprentice or trainee they take on, regardless of geographic location, occupation, industry or business size.
Employment Minister Michaelia Cash said the program had helped 40,000 businesses take on a new apprentice or trainee since October.
"Growing our skills pipeline is an incredibly important part of helping our economic recovery," she said.
Nearly 40,000 of the position were created in small businesses with one in five of the new apprentices older than 35 years old.
Senator Cash said the initiative had supported the creation of jobs for more than 8000 bricklayers, 6000 electricians and almost 11,000 retail and hospitality workers.
"I'm so pleased that we've helped create 100,000 new registered apprentice and trainee places so far and we intend to help even more people get the chance to upskill or re-skill," she said.
The extension will cover any new or recommencing apprentice or trainee until September 30 up to $7,000 per quarter.
Originally published as 70,000 jobs in $1.2b apprentice hiring bonanza