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Australian Government Incentives


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Australian Government Incentives

The Australian government offers a wide range of incentives to both employers and potential employees to encourage training programmes. Understanding the various federal and state regulations improves the chances of success for those seeking to take part in further training. This quick guide will help you work out how to get the most out of the government incentives available to apprentices and trainees. 

Standard, Additional and Special incentives

Australian government support can be grouped into three categories – standard, additional and special incentives. Employers of apprentices can claim cash rewards at the beginning and end of internships. These largely depend on the type of apprenticeship undertaken and the conditions in local territory or state. Extra incentives exist for those who take on apprentices in areas defined as having a shortage of skilled workers as listed on the National Skills Needs List.

Support for Adult Australian Apprentices

For those aged 25 and over who commenced their internship on or after the 1st January 2010, the Australian government provides extra support with the aim of ‘up-skilling’ adult workers. This can be paid directly to the apprentice and, although the amount depends on the wage earned by the apprentice, can be as high as $150 per week in the first year and $100 per week in the second year. 
For more information on this topic, visit our section on Up Skilling, Retraining and Professional Development.

Assistance for Australian Apprentices with Disability

There are also extra incentives available to those with disabilities. This includes ‘off the job’ training grants to provide support to those who have difficulty completing classroom-based component of apprenticeships. This is paid directly to the training organisation responsible for the apprentice, and can be as high as $5300 depending on need. Financial assistance is also available to employers who take on disabled apprentices via the Disabled Australian Apprentice Wage Support payment system. Australian apprentices with a disability are required to undergo an occupational assessment by either medical practitioner or registered psychologist before they are eligible for any of the extra financial support available. 

Incentives for disadvantaged apprentices and trainees

The Australian federal government provides extra funding to encourage employers to consider taking on trainees from disadvantaged backgrounds. These include those from indigenous populations, women entering into ‘non-traditional occupations,’ ‘mature’ apprentices and trainees – defined by the Australian government as those aged 45 and over – and trainees living in areas suffering from high unemployment. These vary depending on state and territory, so it is important to contact your local Australian Apprenticeship Centre to find out more.

Support for employing an Australian School-based Apprentice

Employers who pay ‘school-based apprentices’ – those who continue their formal education (years 10, 11 and 12) while they are working are also eligible for extra incentives. Usually, this means a commencement incentive of $750 and a further $750 for continuing to employ the young person after the student has completed Year 12.

Cost of training

The Australian government undertakes all formal training costs for apprentices and trainees by providing funds to registered training organisations (RTOs). This is because all apprenticeships and traineeships in Australia currently come under the ‘VET for work system’ – a programme designed to educate and train people specifically for the world of work.

This cost is relatively high; in 2009, it is estimated the federal government spent $1.36 billion on apprentices and trainees. 


The array of incentives offered by the Australian government is enormous – whatever your career choice. Contact your local Australian Apprenticeships centre for more information.

Don’t forget to visit our Training and Development page for more information about securing employment in the Resource industry.
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