The Federal Budget 2021-22 handed down on the 11th May 2021 by Treasurer, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP was very promising for vocational education and training. There were a range of initiatives designed to support businesses in the post-COVID economic recovery in the agrifood industries.

At the forefront of the coronavirus recovery budget was growth measures. These include, skills, training and apprenticeships with a $2.7 billion allocated to expand the boosting of apprenticeships, tax offsets and the continuation of instant-asset write-off to businesses, the extension of small business loan schemes and a significant allocation of budget to infrastructure and energy investments.

Key initiatives in relation to skills, training and apprenticeships are:

  • “$2.7 billion to expand the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidy:
    • this measure will uncap the number of eligible places and increase the duration of the 50 per cent wage subsidy to 12 months from the date an apprentice or trainee commences with their employer;
    • from 5 October 2020 to 31 March 2022, businesses of any size can claim the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidy for new apprentices or trainees who commence during this period;
    • eligible businesses will be reimbursed up to 50 per cent of an apprentice or trainee’s wages up to $7,000 per quarter.
  • $506.3 million over two years to extend the JobTrainer Fund – a partnership with the states to deliver around 163,000 additional low fee and free training places;
  • Support for 5,000 training places to help women break into non-traditional trades;
  • 2,700 places in Indigenous girls’ academies to help them finish school and enter the workforce;
  • $149 million over four years to establish up to 15 industry owned Skills Enterprises to deliver improved skills and workforce outcomes.

These measures will help the sector retain existing apprentices, and directly fund new intakes.

A copy of the Securing Australia’s Recovery Creating jobs and rebuilding our economy publication which supports and outlines the budget measures and initiatives with respect to skills, training and apprenticeships.  For a copy of the actual Budget documents visit:

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