Queensland’s State Budget, announced yesterday by the State Treasurer Jackie Trad, shows the government’s commitment to jobs growth in regional Queensland, including a $49.5 billion infrastructure spend over four years.
According to the announcement, the Palaszczuk Government is “focused on providing people with the right skills to drive a strong economic future, with a focus on delivering jobs, supporting small business and an entrepreneurial culture”. They are forecasting 40,000 new jobs, with 25,000 of those outside of Brisbane.
Apart from the $49.5 billion spend in infrastructure, other budgetary items focussed on skills and jobs growth for Queensland include:
- $199 million for the User Choice – Apprentice and Trainee Training Subsidy which provides funding of between $1,150 and $50,720 to be used towards the costs of training and assessment for eligible Queensland apprentices and trainees.
- $9.6 million over four years from 2018–19 for a Link & Launch initiative to help disengaged year 12 school completers engage in education, training or employment.
- $193.7 million for the Certificate III Guarantee Tuition Fee Subsidy which helps eligible Queenslanders obtain their first post-school Certificate III qualification to gain a job or to improve their employment status.
- Extension of apprentice and trainee rebate – building on the success of the 50% payroll tax rebate for apprentices and trainees, especially for employers in regional Queensland, this initiative will be extended until 30 June 2021.
- A further $80 million in 2019-2020 as part of a $420 million, six-year commitment to the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program, designed to help eligible Queenslanders develop skills, gain qualifications and enter and stay in the workforce.
- $75 million for the Higher Level Skills Tuition Fee Subsidy which subsidises cost of tuition fees when undertaking a priority Certificate IV or above qualification.
Another major part of the budget were payroll tax cuts and a continuation of incentives for small to medium businesses to encourage skills growth and to employ locally. The top items for these include:
- New payroll tax free threshold, increasing the threshold from $1.1 million to $1.3 million, with a further 1,500 Queensland businesses expected to now fall below the threshold.
- Payroll tax reductions for regional businesses with a 1% reduction in payroll tax rates for medium and large businesses in regional Queensland, where 85% of employees reside in regional Queensland.
- Payroll tax rebates for businesses hiring new full-time employees over a year (a 100% rebate on the payroll tax relative to net growth in employees, up to a cap of $20,000).
- Continuation of the Back to Work initiative which provides up to $20,000 in financial support for businesses employing eligible job seekers as apprentices and trainees.
- A commitment to a further two years of the Apprentice and Trainee payroll tax rebate, paid at 50% of apprentice and trainee wages. More details of this rebate can be found here.
Managing Director of BUSY At Work, Paul Miles, stated, “We welcome the Budget announcement by the Queensland Government today and its focus on driving innovation and developing skills for our changing work force, especially in regional Queensland.”
“In addition to substantial financial and other incentives already on offer to employers and apprentices in an effort to combat skills-shortages, it is positive to see the commitment by the Queensland Government to continue funding for highly successful programs such as Skilling Queenslanders for Work, the Back to Work program and the payroll tax incentives that encourage businesses to employ local”.
“We encourage business owners to consider apprenticeships or traineeships for their existing or new staff, to further skills for their business and for industry in Queensland,” Paul further stated.
More information regarding the Queensland State Government Budget announcement can be found here.
Further information regarding Skilling Queenslanders for Work, the Back to Work program and incentives for employing apprenticeships and traineeships can be found on BUSY At Work’s website.
To advertise an apprenticeship or traineeship opportunity or to search for opportunities, go to the Apprenticeship Central website or call our Gateway Services team – our trainee and apprentice recruitment specialists – on 13 28 79.
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