Tradies given access to HECS- style loans up to $20,000
To support Australian Apprenticeship Skills shortage areas, the Government will establish Trade Support Loans.
From 1 July 2014 the Government will offer loans of up to $20,000 over the life of an apprenticeship. Like HELP loans for tertiary students, the loans will be repayable once apprentices are earning a sustainable income.
The loans will ease the financial burden and help increase apprenticeship completion rates.
Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said the trade support loans will specifically target occupations on the National Skills Needs List such as plumbers, diesel mechanics, electricians and fitters.
Occupations on the National Skills Needs List as well as those undertaking a Certificate II, III or IV in Agriculture, as well as Horticulture in rural/regional areas can receive up to $8,000 in their first year and $6,000 in their second year when they need it most. Then up to $4,000 in their third year and $2,000 in their fourth year.
“The loans will be spread over the four years of an apprenticeship, diminishing as wages increase, so that maximum support is provided in the initial years when most needed,” he said.
These loans will support Australian Apprentices with every day costs while they complete their apprenticeship.
It will provide real support for current apprentices to complete their skills training and provide a stronger incentive for young Australians to become apprentices.
Apprentices who successfully complete their apprenticeship will have the amount borrowed reduced by 20 per cent. For further information
Tools for Your Trade Payment initiative will cease from 1 July 2014. Any payments where eligibility falls due before this date will still be paid. All other apprentice and employer incentives under the Australian Apprenticeships Incentive Program will remain unchanged.
$10,000 payment provides clear incentive to employ mature age job seekers
The Government will provide ongoing funding from 2014-15 to boost the wage subsidy for mature age job seekers, through a Restart Program.<
From 1 July 2014 a new wage subsidy called Restart will be introduced to encourage the employment of older Australians.
A payment of up to $10,000 will be available to employers who hire a mature age job seeker aged 50 years and over who have been receiving income support (including those on the Disability Support and/or Age Pension) for a minimum of six months will be eligible.
A subsidy will be paid to employers who hire an eligible mature age job seeker on a full-time basis (30 hours or more per week).
Where the mature age job seeker is employed on a part time basis (15 to 29 hours per week) employers will be eligible for a pro rata subsidy commensurate with the actual hours worked.
For more information on trade Support loans visit http://www.australianapprenticeships.gov.au/trade-support-loans
All changes subject to passing legislation.