Harmonising and modernising apprenticeships to boost completion rates, support businesses and improve labour mobility

On this page:

What does it mean?

The Australian, state and territory governments are working together to create a more modern and consistent approach to the Australian Apprenticeships system. This will improve the supply and mobility of skilled labour.

Why is harmonising and modernising Australian apprenticeships and traineeships important?

Stakeholders identified the Australian Apprenticeships system can be complex and difficult to navigate.

A modernised system with clear objectives will make it easier to promote the benefits of employment-based training. It will also improve access for industry and learners.

What is being done?

The Australian, state and territory governments recognise the vocational education and training system is critical to Australia’s future growth and prosperity. This includes economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the Heads of Agreement for Skills Reform, the Australian, state and territory governments have committed to promoting apprenticeships. Governments also agreed to undertake reforms to boost geographic mobility and labour supply.

Through the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements (BAC) wage subsidy, any business or Group Training Organisation that engages an Australian Apprentice between 5 October 2020 and 31 March 2022 may be eligible for a subsidy of 50 per cent of wages paid to a new or recommencing apprentice or trainee for a 12-month period from the date of commencement, to a maximum of $7,000 per quarter.

After 12 months of this support employers will be eligible to transition to the time-limited Completing Apprenticeship Commencements (CAC) wage subsidy for the second and third years of an apprenticeship. Under the CAC, eligible employers will receive a 10 per cent wage subsidy in the second year of an eligible apprenticeship, up to a maximum of $1,500 per quarter per apprentice, and a 5 per cent wage subsidy in the third year of their apprenticeship, to a maximum of $750 per quarter per apprentice.

The BAC and CAC are available to employers of any size, industry or geographic location.

This complements investments by the states and territories, and continues to build a strong foundation for apprenticeship commencements as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.