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ACCI calls on employers to take on an apprentice

By: Mary Hicks, Director of Employment, Education and Training
25 January, 2010

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Australia's largest and most representative business organisation, welcomed the announcement last week by Federal Minister for Employment Participation Senator Mark Arbib of the success of the Apprentice Kickstart initiative and reiterated its earlier calls for employers to consider taking on an apprentice.

"Young Australians are particularly vulnerable to the impact of unemployment. I encourage employers planning their workforce needs for 2010, to think about what a job opportunity could mean for a young person. There has never been a better time than right now to give a young Australian a go."

Under the program, employers hiring apprentices before 28 February are eligible to receive $2,350 when they employ a 15 to 19 year old apprentice in an eligible trade, and a further $2,500 after they complete nine months of training. The program will support up to 21,000 young Australians entering traditional trades this summer.

After a period of nine months employers will be eligible for a further $2500 payment. Traditional trades include occupations such as carpenters, welders, cooks, electricians, joiners, and hairdressers and form part of the National Skills Needs List and are in constant skill shortage. 

Increasing the uptake of apprentices and trainees will help to strengthen the economy as we emerge from the global financial crisis and reduce the occurrence of future skills shortages. 

The success of the Apprentice Kickstart initiative shows that incentives do work and that employers are keen to work with Government to build the future capacity of the workforce.

Source: Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI)

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