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Funding boost benefits rural employers and apprentices-local jobs for communities



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MEDIA RELEASE DR DAVID KEMP, Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs

K0201 19 January 1999

FUNDING BOOST BENEFITS RURAL EMPLOYERS AND APPRENTICES - LOCAL JOBS FOR LOCAL COMMUNITIES

The Federal Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs, Dr David Kemp, today announced a $1,000 boost for employers in regional and rural Australia to help overcome industry skill shortages that communities outside the metropolitan area are experiencing.

“Business development in rural and regional Australia is being held back by shortages of key skills, such as electrical, mechanical and engineering based trades and information technology. This initiative will help regional employers and their apprentices and trainees by building a local skills base which in turn creates new opportunities for growth and greater job security,” said Dr Kemp.

Speaking in Ballarat where the launch took place, Dr Kemp said the additional $1,000 Rural and Regional New Apprenticeships incentive will be targeted at non-metropolitan employers who take on New Apprentices (which includes trainees) in occupations with recognised skill shortages.

“In the Government’s election statement Skilling Australia fo r Jobs we promised to do something about the growing skill shortages in rural and regional Australia. This initiative is the fulfilment of that commitment,” said Dr Kemp.

The Rural and Regional New Apprenticeships initiative will give employers an additional $1,000 incentive payment when their New Apprentice reaches Certificate 3 level (usually half way through the training period).

The payment is on top of an existing payment of $1,250 employers already get when their New Apprentice reaches Certificate 3 or 4 training and will increase the total employer incentives for New Apprenticeships from $4,000 to $5,000.

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Payment on commencement $1,250 $1,250

Progression payment $1,250 $2,250

Payment on successful completion $1,500 $1,500 TOTAL $4,000 $5,000

“This new incentive will mean new opportunities for young people in rural and regional centres across Australia. Some employers will now get incentive payments totalling around $5,000 when training a New Apprentice,” said Dr Kemp.

“We have identified a number of industries within each State and Territory which will directly benefit from this initiative. Whether it’s a refrigeration mechanic in Wagga Wagga, a pastry cook in Alice Springs or an information technology person in Cairns, employers can use the Rural and Regional New Apprenticeship incentive to train the people they need to make their business grow.”

The $1,000 incentive payment is effective from 1 January 1999 to be in place for the peak recruitment period for New Apprentices that occurs between January and March.

The payment is available to employers of both existing and new apprentices and trainees and will be administered by the New Apprenticeships Centres (NAC). Claiming the new payment will involve no additional paperwork to the existing arrangements between employers and their local NAC.

Information on local NAC locations are can be obtained by ringing the New Apprenticeships hotline on 1800 639 629.

Media Contact: Samantha Herron 0412 639 754 or 02 62777 460