As an employer of an Australian Apprentice you may be eligible for financial assistance from the Australian Government to help with hiring and training an apprentice.
From 1 July 2020 the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program (AAIP) was scheduled to be replaced with a new, simplified and streamlined incentives program for employers of apprentices and trainees, the Incentives for Australian Apprenticeships (IAA).
However, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on employers of Australian Apprentices, the Government has revised the implementation schedule of the IAA.
The IAA will now commence from 1 January 2021.
This decision has been made to minimise disruption to employers and Australian Apprentices in these times of significant economic uncertainty.
The full suite of incentives will continue to be available to employers of Australian Apprentices through the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program.
Following the introduction of the IAA from 1 January 2021, employers claiming incentives for an apprentice or trainee who commenced prior to 1 January 2021 will be grandfathered under the AAIP.
Supporting Apprentices and Trainees
Supporting Apprentices and Trainees provides a wage subsidy to small businesses (including those using a Group Training Organisation) to support the retention of their existing apprentices and trainees.
The wage subsidy is also available to employers of any size, including a Group Training Organisation, if they re-engage an apprentice or trainee that has been displaced from a small business.
Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage for 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020.
The apprentice or trainee must have been in-training with a small business as at 1 March 2020.
Employers can register for the subsidy from 2 April 2020. Final claims for payment must be lodged by 31 December 2020.
Group Training Organisations may be able to access the wage subsidy at a rate of $1,500 per fortnight, where the Host Employer of any size is receiving the JobKeeper payment and retains their apprentice.
Eligible Group Training Organisations can apply for the $1,500 per fortnight payment for 6 months from 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2020.
The apprentice or trainee must have been in-training and placed with a Host Employer of any size as at 1 March 2020.
Final claims for payment must be lodged by 31 December 2020.
Additional Identified Skills Shortage Payment
The Additional Identified Skills Shortage Payment is available to eligible apprentices commencing from 1 July 2019 and their employers, in ten occupations experiencing national skills shortages.
For an apprentice and their employer to be eligible for the AISS payment, the apprentice must be new to the employer, commencing a Certificate III or IV level qualification on or after 1 July 2019 leading to one of ten occupations. Existing workers and their employers are not eligible for the AISS payment.
Employers will only be eligible to claim the AISS payment for apprentices that qualify as being additional – that is, over and above the employer’s usual apprentice intake. This is intended to encourage a genuine increase in the supply of Australian Apprenticeships to address skills shortages. An Australian Apprentice who is new to their employer and undertaking a certificate III or IV qualification leading to one of the listed occupations is eligible, regardless of if they are additional.
To determine your eligibility and to apply for the AISS incentive payment contact your local Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider.
Support for Adult Australian Apprentices
The Support for Adult Australian Apprentices (SAAA) incentive aims to encourage up-skilling adult workers through Australian Apprenticeships.
You may be eligible to attract SAAA payments where your Australian Apprentice is:
• undertaking a full-time or part-time Certificate III or IV qualification that leads to an occupation listed on the National Skills Needs List at the date of commencement or recommencement; and
• in receipt of an ‘actual wage’ paid by the employer at the date of commencement or recommencement which is equal to or greater than the National Minimum Wage (as defined and set by the Fair Work Commissioner).
To qualify as an ‘adult’, the Australian Apprentice must be:
• aged 21 years or older, if the apprentice commenced on or after 1 July 2019;
• aged 25 years or older, if the apprentice commenced prior to 1 July 2019.
To determine your eligibility and to apply for the SAAA contact your local Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider.
Assistance for Australian Apprentices with disability
The Australian Government provides additional support to Australian Apprentices with disability through the Disabled Australian Apprentice Wage Support (DAAWS).
DAAWS is payable to employers who employ apprentices who meet the eligibility criteria.
DAAWS is also available to employers whose apprentice becomes disabled during their apprenticeship.
To determine your eligibility and to apply for the DAAWS contact your local Apprenticeship Network provider.
Help is also available through the Employment Assistance Fund (EAF).
The EAF gives financial aid to eligible people so they can buy work related modifications, equipment, help and services.
Employers can access the EAF through Disability Employment Services or jobactive organisations.
Australian Apprentice Wage Subsidy
The Australian Apprentice Wage Subsidy trial was made available to support apprenticeships in skills needs occupations in rural and regional areas.
There are two phases of the trial:
Phase 1 of the Australian Apprentice Wage Subsidy trial is available to employers who sign-up and commence an Australian Apprentice from 1 January 2019 and until 1630 sign-ups have occurred.
Phase 2 of the Australian Apprentice Wage Subsidy trial is available to employers who sign-up and commence an Australian Apprentice from 1 July 2019 and until 1630 sign-ups have occurred.
The apprentice must be undertaking a full-time Certificate III or IV qualification that leads to an occupation on the National Skills Needs List in a rural and regional workplace.
Under phase 1, the Australian Apprentice must be employed under the relevant Award (modern award) for their occupation.
Under phase 2, the Australian Apprentice must be employed under the relevant Award (modern award) for their occupation, an enterprise agreement or other registered agreement.
An employer can only receive the Australian Apprentice Wage Subsidy for one eligible Australian Apprentice across both phase 1 and phase 2.
The employer must also meet all other eligibility requirements under the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program.