The 2022-2023 Federal Budget was handed down on Tuesday 29th March by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. In this blog post, we break down what the Budget changes mean for employers, job hunters and apprentices in future years.
Employer wage subsidies and incentives
Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements (BAC) and Completing Apprenticeship Commencements (CAC) wage subsidies
Announced earlier this month, the Federal Government has extended the deadline for BAC sign ups to the end of June 2022. This three-month extension gives employers additional time to recruit and commence their apprentices and trainees.
The BAC wage subsidy remains at the same level of funding and with the same eligibility criteria, which can be found here.
CAC funding has also been extended, meaning eligible employers will continue to receive funding after the first year of an Australian Apprenticeship. Information about this program can be found here.
Australian Apprenticeships Incentive System (AAIS)
The new AAIS will replace the Australian Apprenticeships Incentive Program (AAIP).. AAIS aims to increase commencements and completions, and is due to start pm 1 July 2022.
A new incentives program had been due to roll out at this time, after several delays over the past 2 years.
Several existing incentives from the AAIP will continue within the AAIS. This includes the Living Away From Home Allowance, Disabled Australian Apprentice Wage Support and the off-the-job Tutorial, Mentor and Interpreter Assistance for apprentices with disability.
The new incentives program has two main periods: 2022 to 2024 and from 2024 onwards. The Budget papers note different funding for these time periods:
2022 to 2024
- Employers receive a 10% wage subsidy for the first and second years and 5% wage subsidy for the third year of an Australian Apprenticeship
- Employers receive a $3,500 hiring incentive
From 1 July 2024, support will change to target employers and apprentices in priority occupations.
Apprentices in priority occupations will receive the new Australian Apprentice Training Support Payment, to help them through to completion. This is $1,250 every 6 months, to a maximum of $5,000.
This payment is designed to help Australian Apprentices throughout the initial stages of their training, coinciding with the lowest wages for junior apprentices under many awards.
The Budget also announces an expansion of the former Trade Support Loans (TSL), renaming this to Australian Apprenticeship Support Loans (AASL). It will be aligned with the new priority list, and payments will be backdated to support new recipients.
Priority occupations list
The new Australian Apprenticeships Priority List will be developed and updated annually by the National Skills Commission.
This is not a new budget announcement, but many of the new programs and incentives will be based off this list.
“It will be guided by a new Australian Apprenticeships Priority List, which sets out the occupations with an apprenticeship or traineeship pathway that have strong current and future demand. The list is based on the National Skills Commission analysis and will be updated every year.”
Minister Robert: https://www.pm.gov.au/media/morrison-government-delivering-australias-workforce-future
The Priority List has not yet been released, but the National Skills Commission has a range of useful tools which indicate current and future demand of occupations, including their new Labour Market Insights website.
Female trade apprentices
In line with priorities to increase the percentage of women in non-traditional trades, the Budget includes a new measure to support women commencing an eligible trade occupation on the priority list.
This support will be delivered through the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network, and includes careers advice and information, pastoral care, mentoring, counselling and mediation.
There are two Budget measures to support young in-training Australian Apprentices, aged 15-20 years.
- From July 2022, all newly commencing young apprentices will receive a 3-month follow up call to identify any early issues
- There will be an additional 2,500 in-training support places for young apprentices
National Skills Agreement
The National Skills Agreement is due to be signed by the Federal, State and Territory governments in mid-2022. The Federal Budget has an additional provision of $3.7 billion to support the Agreement.
At a policy level, this means additional support for priorities in the national skills market set by Governments across Australia. The aims of the Agreement include evidence-based decision making linked to skills needs, transparent funding and consistency across jurisdictions.
For students, this means a greater number of low-cost or free training places in skills priority areas. There is a focus on people with a disability and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in select priority courses.
Aged care workforce
JobTrainer places for the aged care workforce will be expanded, contingent on matched funding from the State and Territory governments. This will provide up to an additional 15,000 free and low-fee training places in aged care qualifications.
The Government’s significant changes to Australia’s employment services system will commence from 1 July 2022. The new Workforce Australia model is a digital front door to all Government employment and skills programs, supported by a network of providers to deliver tailored case management.
In the Budget, the Federal Government commits $10.7 million for promotion and support of the new program, encouraging employers and job seekers to engage with Workforce Australia.
You can learn more about the Federal Budget by reading the full Budget Papers, the DESE Budget Overview and the Hon Stuart Robert MP, Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business and the Hon Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister Joint Media Release