Apprentice Wage Subsidy tackles skills shortage
THE Gladstone Engineering Alliance has welcomed the Australian Government's announcement of a trial apprentice wage subsidy to support regional and rural businesses.
From January 1, the Australian Apprentice Wage Subsidy will support apprenticeships in skills-need occupations in rural and regional areas and encourage participation in apprenticeships by employers who have not previously engaged apprentices, as well as re-engaging employers who may have disengaged from the system.
GEA acting chief executive officer Julie Gelder said over the last year the GEA has had a number of members raise concerns regarding skills shortages both within the resource and construction industry.
"The resources and construction industry are a powerful driver of our region's wealth and has a major impact on employment and opportunities," Ms Gelder said.
"The recent scale of growth in the resource and construction industry, especially with oil and gas projects ramping up, has placed pressure on the labour market where it has even been called a 'skills war' between the resource and construction sector.
"The story for the future will be about our ability to help secure the skilled workforce required to build and operate major resources and construction industry projects over the next five years, which is why the GEA has welcomed the move to create an apprentice wage subsidy to support regional and rural businesses."
The Australian Apprentice Wage Subsidy is available to employers who sign up and start a new worker as an Australian Apprentice from January 1 and until 1630 sign-ups have occurred.
Employers who employ a new worker Australian Apprentice undertaking a full-time Certificate III or IV qualification that leads to an occupation listed on the National Skills Needs List in a rural and regional workplace may be eligible.
Funding of up to $20,000 is available under the Queensland Government's Youth Boost initiative with payments made directly to the employer of an eligible employee or apprentice.
For more information about GEA traineeships, Youth Boost and Back to Work initiatives contact GEA project coordinator Megan Corrie on 49729060.