The government has a raft of tax and other incentives for business families who are hiring apprentices. And for Perth and Western Australia – an economy driven by mining and food – this is especially important.
The starting point when looking at the incentives is to contact Australian Apprenticeships to see if your business is eligible. As a government agency ASA is ideally suited to helping business families understand what they can and cannot enjoy.
We have also summarized the incentives available:
From 5 October 2020 to 30 September 2021 businesses will enjoy a 50% subsidy (up to $7k a quarter) for every new apprentice or trainee. This applies regardless of location, occupation, industry or size.
Businesses can apply from 5 October 2020 to 31 March 2022. And there is an unlimited of places now available. The apprentice or trainee needs to be undertaking a Certificate II or higher qualification and be engaged in a formally approved training contract.
Western Australian businesses that employ apprentices will enjoy a payroll tax exemption for the wages paid to the apprentice. This is a saving of up to 6.5% of the wages paid to an apprentice working in Perth or regional Western Australia.
The commencement incentive results in a payment of $1,250 for an Australian apprenticeship leading to a Certificate II qualification. The higher rate of $1,500 is paid for an apprenticeship that leads to a Certificate III, Certificate IV, Diploma or Advanced Diploma qualification.
The Support for Older Australians is a payment of $4,000. It is aimed at encouraging “older” apprentices (over 21). The apprentice needs to be on the skills shortage list.
The rural and regional incentive is a payment of $1,000 for employers in a rural/regional area who take on apprentices.
Construction training fund
Businesses can access grants and subsidies for apprentices working in the West Australian construction industry. The grant can be up to $25k for apprentices working in Perth and beyond onsite in the construction, installation and fabrication industry.
This is a payment of $6,000 for employers taking on unemployed apprentices ($3k a trainee) who lost there job after 1 March 2020 and are employed before 30 June 2021.
If your family business takes on an apprentice with a disability you can potentially enjoy a payment of up to $5,400 a year.
Other specialist programs
There are other specialist sector-specific apprenticeship incentive programs that must be considered like the Become a Bricklayer Brickstart Scheme, indigenous Australians, or Defence Industry Incentive for Employers.
The engagement of an apprentice can bring a significant benefit to a family in business. And the primary driver of your decision must be to bring about a benefit to the business and the family it owns. And a clear understanding of the government incentives can make the financial risk of employing apprentices lower – so taking advantage of the financial and tax incentives can generate great long-term outcomes – for the worker, your employees, your business, your family and yourself.