Paul Bennett, MEGT’s General Manager of Apprentice Network Provider (ANP),joins Dave to discuss  critical role of Apprentices and Trainees  in rebuilding Australia’s economy post-COVID.

MEGT has welcomed the  Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Industrial Relations, The Hon. Christian Porter’s support of the continuation of the JobKeeper payment for a further six months beyond 28 September 2020.

 

MEGT’s General Manager of Apprentice Network Provider (ANP), Paul Bennett, says the funding extension is likely to help reduce the number of apprentice cancellations and suspensions, and help the apprentice and trainee sector rebound from the fallout of COVID-19.

 

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“Many workplaces are reliant on JobKeeper to keep employees, apprentices and trainees on the books and mitigate the deep economic impacts of COVID-19,” he said.

 

“Today’s announcement of its extension shows the Australian Government recognises that more needs to be done to support businesses in retaining existing staff and creating employment opportunities for a new generation of skilled workers.”

 

New research from the National Australian Apprenticeship Association (NAAA) found a 13% shortfall in apprentices required to service Australia’s economy, with Australia on its way to record the lowest level of apprentice commencements since the late 1990s.

 

“As Australia’s largest and only national Apprentice Network Provider, we’ve seen the increase in apprenticeship suspensions and cancellations resulting from a nationwide recession,” Mr. Bennett said.

 

“With the average apprenticeship taking four years to complete, it’s vital that businesses are supported in taking on new starters now to ensure young Australians, and those out of work due to COVID-19, have the opportunity to ‘earn and learn’ in sectors that are critical to rebuilding our economy.”

 

In addition to the extension of JobKeeper, the Australian Government has extended and expanded the Supporting Apprentices and Trainees (SAT) wage subsidy to include medium-sized businesses who had an apprentice in place on 1 July 2020. Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50% of an eligible apprentice or trainee’s wages paid until 31 March 2021.