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Apprenticeship bonanza could fix WA’s skill shortage

Article image for Apprenticeship bonanza could fix WA’s skill shortage

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA (CCIWA) is welcoming the Federal Government’s decision to extend the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencement initiative hoping it will help solve WA’s high proportion of vacant trade-based jobs.

Employers will be able to access $1.2 billion to hire 70,000 apprentices in the next year in a plan the Morrison government hopes will help Australia avoid a youth unemployment crisis from the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses are able to claim a 50 per cent wage subsidy for each apprentice they put on.

The subsidy will now extend to new apprenticeships and traineeships signed up by 30 September 2021 and will be paid for 12 months.

CCIWA Chief Executive Chris Rodwell told Oliver Peterson there has already been an increase in apprenticeships as a result of this program.

“It’s great that it’s been extended,” he said.

“It’s impressive a lot of young Australians are starting.

“About 4 in 5 positions taken up are being take up by young Australians.”

Significant skill shortages are creating a barrier to growth for over a third of WA businesses. Mr Rodwell said projects “on the table” are going to need big workforce numbers by 2022.

“These are real significant issues,” he said.

Mr Rodwell said the announcement will provide more WA businesses with the support, certainty and confidence to take on an apprentice or trainee.

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