The Federal Government has announced it will further extend the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements (BAC) wage subsidy for employers as part of the 2021 Federal Budget.

Employers who sign up a new apprentice or trainee before March 31st 2022 may be eligible to receive a subsidy of up to 50% of gross wages paid to a maximum of $7,000 per quarter, for each eligible apprentice or trainee in the 12 month period from commencement or recommencement.

It applies to employers who are already registered by signing up a new apprentice or trainee after October 5th 2020, and to apprentices or trainees who are undertaking a Certificate II or higher qualification under a Training Contract that is formally approved by the relevant State Training Authority.

BAC is available to businesses no matter their size or geographic location, but it is not applicable to businesses already claiming other subsidies such as the Supporting Apprentices and Trainees (SAT) subsidy or JobKeeper for the same claim period.

Other Budget measures include:

  • A further investment of $1 billion in the JobTrainer Fund to continue delivering low or no-fee training places in areas of skills need. This includes about 33,800 additional aged care sector training places and an extra 10,000 digital skills training places.
  • A new pathway for 5,000 women to skill for non-traditional apprenticeships.
  • A $149.2 million investment over four years to support new industry engagement arrangements for the VET system.
  • Reforms under a new National Skills Agreement with the states and territories to support training which is responsive to current and future skills needs.
  • A National Digital Australian Apprenticeships Portal to assist employers manage their apprentice workforces and for apprentices to understand their entitlements.

The Incentives for Australian Apprenticeships Program will be delayed by three months to commence on October 1st 2021 replacing the current Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program. The AAIP and Additional Identified Skills Shortage payments will also be extended to September 30th 2021.