News reports on the weekend of another pre-budget leak affecting industry – this time a $1.2 billion subsidy for companies taking on new apprentices.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told Channel 9 the budget would include $1.2 billion which would pay half the wages of new apprentices taken on over the next year, with the aim of supporting 100,000 apprentices.
He is quoted as saying: “Whether you are a baker or butcher, whether you are a sparkie, plumber or carpenter you are getting support from the Morrison Government.”
Labor’s treasury spokesman Jim Chalmers said the scheme does not make up for the 140,000 fewer apprentices seen over the life of the government.
Apprentice numbers have declined every year since the election of the Abbott government and are 25,100 below their strength five years ago, according to figures from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).
The $1.2 billion figure is also dependent on how many new apprentices are taken on and it is highly unlikely that the coming year will see 100,000 added to today’s apprentice numbers of 145,105 given the manufacturing sector is shrinking along with the rest of the economy.
Apprentice starts fell 11.0 per cent in the latest, March quarter to 49,015, with commencements for the year to March 31 down 7,7 per cent on the previous corresponding period.
Subscribe to our free @AuManufacturing newsletter here.