Release type: Media Release

Date:

Apprentice Kickstart kicks off on the Central Coast

Ministers:

The Hon Jason Clare MP
Parliamentary Secretary for Employment

Central Coast employers are being urged to take advantage of the Rudd Government tripling the first year apprentice bonus to almost $5,000 this summer.

Parliamentary Secretary for Employment Jason Clare and Federal Member for Dobell Craig Thomson today visited Youth Connections – a group training organisation focussed on youth training.

“Apprentice Kickstart boosts the bonus employers are paid in the first year from $1500 to $4850,” Mr Clare said.

“Youth Connections are hoping to get apprenticeships for 40 young people on the Central Coast under this program.

“This is a great result and I encourage other local businesses to take advantage of the bonus and make sure the Central Coast gets its fair share.”

Mr Clare said the Apprentice Kickstart program was the major recommendation of the Keep Australia Working report.

“As part of the Keep Australia Working initiative we held 22 forums with business and community leaders in the regions hardest hit by the global recession like the Central Coast,” Mr Clare said.

“Businesspeople here on the Central Coast forum told us they needed more help from the Government to put on apprentices.

“That’s why we put Kickstart in place – to give businesses the support they need to give young people on the Central Coast a start.”

Mr Thomson said that the bonus would be a $100 million “down payment” on skills for the future and would help young people find a job in the traditional trades.

“This will help school leavers on the Central Coast enter apprenticeships for bricklayers, carpenters, electricians, hairdressers, cooks and welders,” Mr Thomson said.

“We know that commencements in the traditional trades have plummeted by around 20 per cent over the last year.

“I want Central Coast businesses to get their fair share of Kickstart bonuses putting more local young people into an apprenticeship.

“My message to local employers is if you are thinking about hiring an apprentice – take advantage of this bonus and give a young person in our local area a start in your business.”

Apprentice Kickstart will be available to employers who take on a traditional trades apprentice aged between 15 to 19 from 1 December 2009 until 28 February 2010 or until 21,000 bonus payments have occurred over this period.