Harmonising and modernising apprenticeships to boost completion rates, support businesses and improve labour mobility

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What does it mean?

The Australian, state and territory governments are working together to create a more modern and consistent approach to the Australian Apprenticeships system. This will improve the supply and mobility of skilled labour.

Why is harmonising and modernising Australian apprenticeships and traineeships important?

Stakeholders identified the Australian Apprenticeships system can be complex and difficult to navigate.

A modernised system with clear objectives will make it easier to promote the benefits of employment-based training. It will also improve access for industry and learners.

What is being done?

The Australian, state and territory governments recognise the vocational education and training system is critical to Australia’s future growth and prosperity. This includes economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the Heads of Agreement for Skills Reform, the Australian, state and territory governments have committed to promoting apprenticeships. Governments also agreed to undertake reforms to boost geographic mobility and labour supply.

As part of the 2021-22 Budget the Australian Government has also committed $2.7 billion to extend and expand the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements (BAC) wage subsidy. This includes $1.2 billion to uncap the program and extend the wage subsidy period to 12 months from the date of commencement (as announced on 9 March 2021), and $1.5 billion to extend the commencement period for an additional six months from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022.

This complements investments by the states and territories, and continues to build a strong foundation for apprenticeship commencements as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.