Pat Conaghan MP

Funding new apprentices in Cowper for a skills-led recovery

The Morrison-McCormack Government is investing an additional $1.2 billion to support Australian businesses to employ 100,000 new apprentices and trainees as part of our COVID-19 economic recovery plan.

The program which started on the 5 October 2020, will provide a 50 per cent wage subsidy for businesses who take on a new Australian apprentice or a trainee for businesses regardless of size, location, occupation or industry.

The Cowper electorate encompassing the Coffs Coast is well-placed to scoop up these capped apprenticeship and traineeship wage subsidies with the massive $1.8 billion Coffs Harbour bypass expected to start early construction works by the end of this year, should planning approval be given by the NSW Government.

Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan said apprenticeships and traineeships are an important pathway to get young Coffs Coast locals into jobs and to ensure there is a skills pipeline to meet the future needs of employers.

“The Coffs Harbour bypass set to be delivered by the strong Federal and State Coalition Governments is estimated to create around 12,000 jobs for the region both directly and indirectly,” he said.

“This is a perfect opportunity to get local job seekers into an apprenticeship and quite literally build the future prosperity of our region.

“Our Government is delivering job-creating infrastructure, we even invested a further $490.6 million in the Coffs bypass in the Federal Budget this week.

“It’s all well and good for Labor to talk a big game today, about what they might do if ever elected, but the fact is Labor are all talk and no action.”

The subsidy will be available to employers of any size or industry, Australia-wide who engage an Australian apprentice or trainee from 5 October 2020 until the 100,000 cap is reached.

Under the new measure, employers will be eligible for 50 per cent of the wages for a new or recommencing apprentice or trainee for the period up to 30 September 2021, up to $7,000 per quarter.

Mr Conaghan said whether it’s the manufacturing, housing and construction, arts or mining sectors – this new wage subsidy gives businesses certainty to hire and provides career opportunities for job seekers.

“I encourage all local businesses in Coffs Harbour to take advantage of this opportunity and bring on a new apprentice or trainee,” he said.

For more information visit the Department of Education, Skills and Employment’s website.

Media contact: 

Liz Spry – 0418 928 744