The 2021-2022 Federal Budget is out. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg certainly lived up to the promise that this ‘pandemic budget’ would focus on job creation and skill development.
We break down what the Budget changes mean for employers, job hunters and apprentices in the coming years.
Employers – Skills reform and wage subsidies expanded
Expansion of Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements (BAC) wage subsidy
One of the most substantive announcements in this year’s budget for employers is the expansion of the BAC wage subsidy. This extension has been allocated an additional $2.7 billion up until the end of March 2022. Under the extended program, places are uncapped and businesses of any size will be able to claim the 50% wage reimbursement from the government for any new apprentice or trainee who begin their employment between October 2020 and March 2021. Employers will also be able to claim the reimbursement for 12 months from when the apprentice or trainee starts (capped at $7,000 per quarter).
For employers, this extension of the wage subsidy means they can feel more secure in hiring an apprentice or trainee. The BAC extension is a confirmation that new apprentice and trainee wages will be half supplemented by the government for a full year.
It also means that employers can engage the 2021 school leavers cohort right through the peak hiring time during the first quarter of 2022. This helps to provide an extra sense of income security to employers of incoming apprentices or trainees.