Apprenticeships review to lay foundation for future reform

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Strategic Review of the AAIS

The Australian Government has launched the Strategic Review of the Australian Apprenticeships Incentive System (Incentive System). It will deepen the government’s understanding of the effectiveness of the current Incentive System in encouraging the take-up and completion of apprenticeships and traineeships.

The Honourable Justice Iain Ross AO, former President of the Fair Work Commission and former judge of the Federal Court, and Ms Lisa Paul AO PSM, former Secretary of the Department of Education, will conduct the review. 

The Australian Government is committed to improving apprenticeship completion rates. Apprentices and trainees form a vital part of the solution to help address skill shortages Australian industries are facing. Which in turn help our economic growth and support the transition to a net-zero economy. 

The review will

  • Examine the complementary role of services, support and high-quality training provision. 
  • Address the need to build the necessary skills and talent in the workforce.  
  • Support businesses to meet their current and emerging skills needs—including future pathways that emerge with the net zero transformation. 
  • Consider the cost-of-living pressures and financial stresses that prevent apprentices from completing their training. 
  • Ensure engagement with under-represented groups such as women, First Nations people and people with disabilities to improve participation in apprenticeships in priority occupations facing skills shortages. 

The review will be informed by targeted research and underpinned by broad consultation with stakeholders.

Background

The Australian Apprenticeships Incentive System was introduced in 2022 to provide support to employers and apprentices. Employers can receive financial support through wage subsidies and apprentices can receive direct payments to help with the cost-of-living pressures.  

The Incentive System is available to employers and apprentices working in jobs on the Australian Apprenticeships Priority List. This ensures that support is targeted to occupations that are currently in demand or will be in the future in Australia. 

Financial supports are scheduled to change from 1 July 2024 as the Incentive System is re-balanced following short-term COVID-19 economic response subsidies. 

Understanding the effectiveness of the Incentive System at this time of transition will enable the government to tackle cost-of-living pressures and lay the foundations for future reforms that maximise outcomes from the apprenticeships system. 

More information 

Strategic Review of the Australian Apprenticeships Incentive System

Australian Apprenticeship Incentive System Guidelines

Correct at time of publication.