Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that the federal government will be extending its wage subsidy scheme for apprentices and trainees until the end of September 2021. It is anticipated that the extension will result in another 70,000 new jobs being created.

The scheme has already created over 100,000 apprenticeships since it was introduced on 5th October 2020. The highly successful scheme has a price tag of approximately $1.2 billion which will be distributed to businesses who employ Australians under the initiative.

Young Australians aged under 25 have countered for over 50% of people taking up new apprenticeships under the scheme. It was also revealed that one third of the apprenticeships are people over the age of 35.

Out of the 100,000 registered apprentices and trainees 27,000 of them were aged between 25 and 44. 40 percent of the new hires were made by small businesses.36% of the new positions have been given to women, which is a lot higher than what the federal government originally expected.

Under the scheme, 50 percent of the wages of trainees and apprentices are subsidised by taxpayers. The payments will remain capped at $7000 a quarter. Over 30,000 apprentices have been hired in NSW and over 24,000 have been hired in Victoria under the scheme.

The purpose of the program was for the government to help secure work for apprentices who have been fearful that the economic downturn caused by the pandemic would have a negative impact on helping them find employment.

Figures released by the federal government indicate that, since the schemes introduction almost 40,000 businesses have received the subside. Construction and food and beverage services have been listed as the leading industries.

Other leading occupations which have been used to create new apprenticeships under the scheme also include; bricklayers, carpenters, joiners, electricians and mechanics. The scheme has created over 11,000 jobs in the hospitality industry.

The Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements which was announced in last year’s budget as a program that has been intended to shield training from the coronavirus pandemic.

The wage subsidy is available for a maximum of $7,000 per quarter, per eligible Australian Apprentice, for wages paid in the 12-month period from date of commencement or recommencement.

The subsidy will not be available for any apprentice that is receiving any other form of Australian Government wage subsidy for example; Supporting Apprentices and Trainees or JobKeeper.

The first payment claims for the subsidy was made available on 1st January 2021. The final claims to receive a payment under the scheme must be lodged by 31st December 2022.

The JobMaker scheme is another program the federal government has introduced to try and get more Australians back into the workforce in a post-covid world. The purpose of “JobMaker” is to get more young Australians back into the workforce. JobMaker offers an incentive to encourage employers to hire new employees aged between 16 and 35. There is a huge focus on getting this age group back into the workforce as they were the age group that lost the highest number of working hours on average during the peak of the covid-19 pandemic in Australia.

Employers could be eligible for potentially up to $10,400 over a 12-month period for each new employee they hire aged between 16 and 29. Employers could also receive $5,200 for each new employee they hire aged between 30 and 35. The scheme commenced on 7th October 2020 and will conclude on 6th October 2021.

To be eligible for JobMaker a new employee must have received JobSeeker Payment, Parenting Payment or Youth Allowance for at least two fortnights within the last six fortnights. Evidence of these payments must be provided by supplying a statement from their Centrelink payment summary or bank account statement.

JobMaker will make it easier for recent university graduates to find employment in a post-covid world. Hiring a young person who has grown up age in the age of social media will also be a huge advantage for businesses that are wanting to improve their online presence and build more meaningful relationships with their customers via social media.