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Budget 2017 – $1.5 billion to increase apprenticeships and traineeships

BUSY At Work's commentary on Budget 2017-18
BUSY At Work's commentary on Budget 2017-18

Investing in skilling Australians for Australian jobs, tax breaks, cutting red tape and the extension of $20,000 instant asset tax write off are this year’s budget highlights for small to medium businesses.

The federal budget handed down last night by Treasurer Scott Morrison MP included the introduction of the National Partnerships Skilling Australia Fund. The fund will provide $1.5 billion, aimed to deliver an additional 300,000 apprentices and trainees over the next four years.

At a glance:

  • Lower and more competitive taxes for Australian businesses
  • Extending the $20,000 instant asset write-off for businesses with annual turnover less than $10 million
  • Cutting red tape for small businesses
  • Investing in skilling Australians for Australian jobs
  • Investing in nation building infrastructure
  • Investing in growing our regions

Small Business Minister Michael McCormack said small business has a big impact on the Australian economy – with 3.2 million small businesses employing 5.6 million Australians.

“Its small business – not Government – which creates jobs and that’s why the Government backs small business,” Mr McCormack said.

Mr McCormack said the Government will extend the immediate deductibility rules for a further 12 months – to 30 June 2018 – allowing small businesses with an annual turnover of up to $10 million to immediately deduct eligible assets each costing less than $20,000.

Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills and Federal Member for McPherson, Karen Andrews, said the Government is also establishing a $60 million Industry Specialist Mentoring for Australian Apprentices scheme that will help people complete their training.

“The Skilling Australians Fund will create an extra 300,000 apprenticeships in priority industries and occupations across Australia.

“It will also provide more local people with the opportunity to get the skills they need to put them on the path to a great job and career,” Minister Andrews said.

BUSY At Work CEO Paul Miles said it was great to see small business and apprenticeships and traineeships being a priority in the budget.

“As a leading Apprenticeship Network Provider and Employment Services Provider we are well aware that small business plays a critical role in Australia’s economy.

“We deal with small and medium size businesses every day and see the struggles and the obstacles they regularly deal with to survive and grow.

“Cutting back red tape, tax incentives and extending the $20,000 instant tax write off for another year will be a welcome relief to our business partners.”

“We believe building a skilled and knowledgeable workforce through apprenticeships and traineeships play a very important role in the longevity of Australia’s economy.

“In order to achieve this, we need our small businesses to grow and congratulate the government on establishing the Skilling Australia fund,” Mr Miles said.

Other budget highlights include:
National Disability Insurance Scheme NDIS
$33 million over three years to help deliver jobs for people in the disability and aged care sectors, targeting rural, regional and suburban areas that require strong workforce growth as a result of the NDIS roll out.

Better Employment Outcomes
$20.4 million over four years to enhance the current jobactive program. The new Career Transition Assistance Program will support both mature age and inexperienced job seekers to increase their chances of finding employment.

Work for the Dole
Work for the Dole continues to be a cornerstone of the mutual obligation system. The Government is streamlining the administration of the program and ensuring that it provides participants with the skills employers want, while giving back to the community.

New Job Seeker Compliance Framework
A new targeted Job Seeker Compliance Framework will commence from 1 July 2018 to ensure genuinely disadvantaged and vulnerable job seekers are better supported. There will be stronger penalties for deliberate non-compliance.

For more information on the budget, visit


MEDIA CONTACT: Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator
0438 173 960


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