Sunshine Coast Hinterland to benefit from Apprenticeships program

Sunshine Coast young people and small businesses to benefit from Regional Apprenticeships Incentives program

Young people on the Sunshine Coast, and the businesses that employ them, are set to benefit from the Federal Government’s investment of $60 million in a new apprenticeships incentive, launched today.

The investment will support a trial of wage subsidies for businesses who employ apprenticeships in regional and rural communities like the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace said “I began my working life as an apprentice carpenter. I did a pre-apprenticeship and an apprenticeship, and I worked as a carpenter and builder for more than 10 years. Today I am your local Federal Member of Parliament, and I am delighted to be supporting a program which will give 1,630 more young Australians the same opportunity I had.”

From 1 January 2019, the new subsidy under the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program (AAIP), will support eligible new Australian Apprentices in trades on the National Skills Needs list like plumbing, mechanical, electrical, painting trades, baking and hairdressing.

Mr Wallace said “All of the trades covered by this program can provide a great income and a fulfilling career to any Australian who wants to work hard and build a great future. But as my example shows, doing an apprenticeship doesn’t restrict you to a single career. Who knows where a VET qualification will take you?”

Under the subsidy, eligible employers in the Sunshine Coast hinterland will be able to receive payments based on their apprentice’s relevant award wage rates. Subsidies will be provided at 75 per cent of the apprentice’s award wage in the first year, followed with 50 per cent in the second year and 25 per cent in the third year.

Minister for Small and Family Business, Skills and Vocational Education Senator Michaelia Cash said the trial would see up to 1,630 new Australian Apprentices in areas of skills needs.
“There are 3.3 million Australian small businesses which contribute around $395 billion annually to our economy. Small business plays a vital role in our community, from giving young Australians their first real job to supporting our local charities and sporting organisations,” Minister Cash said.

“Through this incentive we are securing the skills our regional and rural businesses need to remain competitive and give local students new opportunities at home.”

Deputy Prime Minister, Nationals’ Leader and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the incentive will provide a much-needed boost to communities throughout regional and rural Australia.

“It’s an incentive that I’m confident will encourage businesses and employers to engage a new apprentice and turbo-charge someone’s future career,” Mr McCormack said.

“This investment from the Liberal and Nationals’ Government is just another practical step to help create jobs and opportunities for small businesses and young people in the regions.

“A VET qualification is every bit as important to the economy as a university degree.

“That’s why our investment in the Skilling Australians Fund – alongside New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory and the ACT – is vital to create thousands of additional pre-apprenticeships, apprenticeships and higher apprenticeships.”

Mr Wallace said “This Federal Government investment will achieve a lot on the Sunshine Coast, but we could be doing so much more if the State Labor Government had not failed young people in our community by refusing to take part in the Skilling Australians Fund. Unlike those in New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the ACT, young people on the Coast will not benefit from our investment of $1.5 billion and the many tens of thousands of additional apprenticeship opportunities it will create.”

“Minister Fentiman and the State Labor Government say that they want to support workers, but their actions consistently tell a different story. Young people, our state’s future workers, have yet again been betrayed by a Labor Government more interested in playing politics than in creating opportunity and prosperity for Queenslanders. Minister Fentiman should finally do the right thing and join almost every other state and territory in Australia, in signing up to the Skilling Australians Fund today.”

For more information on the Skilling Australians Fund see:


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Authorised by Andrew Wallace MP, Liberal National Party, 11/10 Lake Kawana Blvd, Bokarina, QLD, 4575