Increased support delivered to Australian apprentices
9 Nov 2010
The Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) signals increased support for Australian apprentices as the Gillard Government continues to invest in the skills needed for a strengthening economy.
From 1 January 2011, trade apprentices working in ‘skill shortage occupations’ will receive additional tax exempt bonuses of up to $1700 as they reach milestones during their training.
“This additional bonus brings to $5500 the total tax free Tools For Your Trade Payment provided to trade apprentices in skills shortage occupations,” Senator Evans said.
“It will support 200,000 trade apprentices at a cost of $281 million over four years.”
Funding is also being provided for a national mentoring program to encourage more apprentices to complete their training.
“The Government is committed to working with industry to meet emerging skills needs in the economy and equipping young Australians to take advantage of opportunities arising from the strengthening economy,” Senator Evans said.
“The Gillard Government is providing practical help to ensure Australians get the skills they need for the jobs of tomorrow.”
The strengthening economy has resulted in reduced demand for the retraining of retrenched workers.
This allowed the Government to redirect $55 million from the Productivity Places Program, in line with the need to find savings across the budget.
The Government is also providing a further $25 million over two years to support the operation of the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Assurance Fund.
"It is clear that a number of Australian international education providers will be under pressure in 2011 from a range of factors, not the least of which is the high value of the Australian dollar," said Senator Evans.
“The Fund will protect the interests of current and future overseas students of registered providers.
“It will ensure students are provided with suitable alternative courses, or have their course monies refunded, if the provider cannot provide the course the student has paid for.
“It is critical that Australia maintain its reputation as a quality education provider and this Fund will offer reassurance to overseas students.”