Release type: Media Release


Incentives to engage more adult apprentices


Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Minister for Small and Family Business, Skills and Vocational Education

Employers will be incentivised to take on an apprentice between the age of 21 and 24 with the Liberal National Government today extending the Adult Australian Apprentices payment.

From July 1 2019, eligibility for the Support for Adult Australian Apprentices (SAAA) payment will be extended to employers who take on an eligible apprentice aged 21 to 24 years studying a certificate III or IV qualification in areas of skills needs.

Eligible employers will receive a one-off payment of $4,000 to take on an adult apprentice aged 21 to 24 years.

Minister for Small and Family Business, Skills and Vocational Education, Senator Michaelia Cash said the Government was making it easier for Australians to start an apprenticeship through this $27.7 million initiative.

“Older apprentices are some of the best workers in our community. The experience and maturity they bring to their apprenticeship – after years of studying or working elsewhere – are highly valued by employers.”

“Extending the incentive payments initiative for adult apprentices will support 12,500 apprentices over three years from 2019-20."

Until now, eligibility for the SAAA payment was limited to employers who engaged an eligible apprentice aged 25 or over when they commenced their Australian Apprenticeship.

The Fair Work Commission’s determination that an ‘adult apprentice’ for wage purposes was someone aged 21 years or older when they started their apprenticeship has created a disincentive for businesses to take on an apprentice aged 21 to 24. The result has been a decline in the total number of adult apprentices within this age bracket.

“Extending the eligibility to adult apprentices aged 21 to 24 years will encourage more employers to put on adult apprentices in areas of skills needs,” Minister Cash said.

“The Liberal National Government is delivering an apprenticeship system that works for all Australians.”