Expansion of apprenticeship priority list helps tackle skills shortage

The Australian Apprenticeships Priority List has increased from 77 to 111 jobs in a move to help mitigate skills shortages.

The Federal Government added 34 new occupations to the list which include gardeners, electronic equipment trade workers, screen printers, swimming coaches, shearers, veterinary nurses and travel consultants.

This will increase the number of occupations eligible for additional support, including up to $5,000 in direct payments to apprentices, and a wage subsidy of up to $15,000 for employers.

Apprenticeships Support Australia manager Carly Waterfield welcomed the addition of more jobs, saying it “opens the opportunity for businesses to receive additional financial support to recruit or upskill staff in these skill shortage areas”.

“History has shown that financial support for employers has a significant impact on apprenticeship commencement numbers. The most recent incentives used to increase apprentice numbers post-COVID-19, particularly the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements (BAC) wage subsidy, has shown what heavy investment in training can do with significant increases in apprentice commencement numbers during its availability,” Carly Waterfield said.

“Now that the BAC wage subsidy is no longer available to new commencements, the introduction of the Priority Wage Subsidy to focus the financial support available to Priority Occupations is vital to help address skills shortages. Businesses and industries affected by these skills shortages can contribute to skilling new apprentices knowing there is financial assistance available.”

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA’s (CCIWA) Business Strategy 2023 reported that in 2022 there were more job vacancies than unemployed people. Skills shortages was the dominant barrier facing the WA business community, with 4 out of 5 businesses feeling the pinch. These concerns were most acute among businesses in the transport (93%), agriculture (92%) and resources (92%) sectors.

Need apprenticeship or traineeship support for your business?

Apprenticeship Support Australia can facilitate employment, manage training and offer support and advice to companies seeking apprentices to boost their workforce. Call us today on 1300 363 831.

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