Apprentice employers to get govt incentive

02/07/2020 - 11:53


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The state government will provide up to $6,000 in financial support to employers that take on an apprentice or trainee previously displaced due to COVID-19.

Apprentice employers to get govt incentive
Mark McGowan says a pipeline of skilled workers are required for WA's economic recovery. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

The state government will provide up to $6,000 in financial support to employers that take on an apprentice or trainee previously displaced due to COVID-19.

At the same time, Finance Minister Ben Wyatt said the Foreign Buyers Surcharge, used to pay for a freeze on TAFE fees, had raised more than $19 million in its first year.

Announcing the new Apprenticeship and Traineeship Re-engagement today, Premier Mark McGowan said the incentive would help ensure a pipeline of skilled workers necessary for the state’s economic recovery.

The incentive applies to apprentices and trainees whose contracts were terminated on or after March 31. 

Employers will receive $6,000 for hiring an apprentice and $3,000 for hiring a trainee.

The incentives are supported by the state government’s new Out of Contract register, announced early last month, which is designed to help displaced apprentices and trainees find a new employer. The register is available on the Jobs and Skills WA website.

The premier said many apprentices and trainees were “doing it tough” during the coronavirus-induced downturn.

“As we continue the recovery process, we want them to get back into our workshops and back to work,” Mr McGowan said.

“By providing these financial incentives, we are backing our local businesses to take on displaced apprentices and trainees to ensure our future workers have the technical and practical skills to meet the immediate needs of the workforce.”

The state government has also made courses freely available to more than 3,000 displaced apprentices and trainees for up to six months, as announced in June.

Training costs will also be covered as part of the initiative, with fees to be paid by the Department of Training and Workforce Development directly to training providers.

Fee relief will continue if the apprentice or trainee is subsequently picked up by another employer.

Meanwhile, Mr Wyatt said the Foreign Buyers Surcharge introduced by the state government as a budget repair had assessed nearly 550 transactions, exceeding the 2019-20 revenue estimate.

The seven per cent surcharge applies to all purchases of residential property in Western Australia by foreigners, and is on top of the normal transfer duty payable on property purchases.

The rate is consistent with Queensland and South Australia, and is lower than rates applied in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania.

“This is a significant outcome for all Western Australians and highlights the small proportion of foreign investors in the local housing market are prepared to pay their share to benefit from WA's services and infrastructure," Mr Wyatt said.

“Given the first full year results of this surcharge and the significant amount of money it raises for WA taxpayers, it’s utterly ridiculous that the Liberal Party wants to scrap it.”

The Liberal Party confirmed in Parliament earlier this year it would remove the surcharge, which the state government said would cost taxpayers $70 million.


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