JobTrainer skills package announced

COVID-19 business recovery

The Australian Government will invest $2 billion to give hundreds of thousands of Australians access to new skills by retraining and upskilling them into sectors with job opportunities, as the economy recovers from COVID-19.

Key points

The new package consists of:

  • A $1 billion JobTrainer Fund
  • A $1.5 billion expansion of the Support Apprentices and Trainees Wage subsidy

Eligibility for the subsidy will be expanded to include medium-sized businesses with 199 employees or fewer who had an apprentice in place on 1 July 2020.

The JobTrainer Fund is expected to support around 340,700 additional training places. The exact number will depend on the type of training undertaken and in negotiation with states and territories. The fund will give the trainees access to new skills by upskilling and retraining them for sectors with increased job opportunities.

Funding will be available for nationally accredited qualifications and skillsets in sectors that are identified as ‘genuine need’. These areas are based on a list agreed by the National Skills Commission. Courses will be free or low cost and will help school leavers and jobseekers access pre-apprenticeships and full qualifications creating a pathway to growth sectors. Both short courses and full qualifications will be covered by the fund.

Apprenticeship Subsidy

The expansion of the Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy will support around 90,000 businesses employing over 180,000 apprentices across Australia.

The wage subsidy covers 50% of wages paid to apprentices and trainees, up to $7,000 per quarter.

Eligibility for the subsidy will be increased from small businesses to include medium-sized business with 199 or fewer employees. A business will need to have an apprentice in place from 1 July 2020 to be eligible.

Employers of any size and Group Training Organisations that re-engage and out of trade apprentice or trainees are also eligible.

The wage subsidy is not available to apprentices and trainees who are receiving JobKeeper payments during the same period. However, where a business stops receiving JobKeeper, they will then be eligible to apply for the subsidy if they had an apprentice or trainee engaged on 1 July 2020.

The Federal Government has committed $500 million in 2020-21 for the fund, contingent on a matched contribution from states and territories.

The JobTrainer Fund has been proposed to operate from September 2020 to 30 June 2021 and the wage subsidy will be extended to March 2021. Read more at or call the Salisbury Team in Albury on 02 6041 3014.