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Funding boost creates more incentive for rural and regional apprenticeships in agriculture and horticulture.

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Media Release

Judith Troeth

Parliamentary Secretary to

the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry


19 January 1999


A new incentive payment to help overcome skills shortages in rural and regional communities is a welcome boost to skilled employment in these areas Senator Judith Troeth, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry said today.

" The Rural and Regional New Apprenticeships initiative will mean that employers in rural and regional areas who take on apprentices or trainees in industries including agricultural and horticulture, may be eligible for government funding of up to $5000," Senator Troeth said.

The Rural and Regional New Apprenticeships incentive will provide an additional $1000 incentive to employers of new apprentices in occupations and trades with identified skills shortages. The additional funding builds on other incentives currently available to new apprentices and brings the total incentive available to eligible employers to $5000.

The amount of funding available to employers depends on the level of training an apprentice has reached. For instance, under the existing progr am, on commencement of an apprenticeship eligible employers can access $1250 in funding. Once an apprentice reaches Certificate 3 or 4 training, or half way through the apprenticeship, they are eligible for an additional $1250 and on successful completion of the apprenticeship they can access a further $1500.

The $1000 funding boost comes in to play once an apprentice has reached his or her Certificate 3 in training or midway through the apprenticeship. Provided all criteria is met to be eligible for the Ru ral and Regional New Apprenticeship, employers will now be able to access up to $5000 in Federal Government support.

Senator Troeth said, "The future of rural communities has been an issue of great concern to rural Australia as traditional opportunities fo r business development have been steadily moving away from the bush. This initiative is of great importance to the horticulture industry which is the third largest agricultural industry after grains and meat.

"One of the Coalition Government ’s election commitments promised to do something about the growing skills shortages in rural communities and through this program we are delivering."

The payment is available to employers of both existing and new apprentices and trainees, and will be administered by the New Apprenticeships Centre (NAC). Information on local NAC locations can be obtained by ringing the New Apprenticeships hotline on 1800 639 629.

Further inquiries:

Senator Troeth's office

Alex Staples (02) 6277 3002 or 0417 449 921