The Liberals have announced a $200 million election commitment to boost the number of apprentices and trainees in Western Australia by 20,000. 

A Liberal Government will prioritise creating local jobs and we are excited to offer an incentive for West Australian businesses to provide a career pathway for our youth – which has industry support.

As part of our Local Jobs Guarantee, the Liberals will provide a new two-year incentive and retention payment to encourage West Australian businesses to employ up to 20,000 apprentices and trainees as part of the COVID-19 economic recovery. This is about giving more young West Australians the chance to start an apprenticeship or traineeship. 

The incentive will be up to $10,000 for taking on a new apprentice and up to $5000 for a new trainee. This will be over and above existing incentives and will take the total payments available for hiring a new apprentice to up to $18,500 and a new trainee up to $9250.

In addition, the Liberals are also announcing a $1000 Apprentice Tool Bonus. This will provide a helping hand for young apprentices and trainees to buy tools, equipment and clothing, or to pay for medical assessments, police clearances and other direct costs involved in getting ready for work. 

Under Labor, trade apprentice commencements have fallen 32 per cent over the past four years. The Liberals are determined to rectify this dramatic reduction, which is why we will implement this policy, if elected. We believe these initiatives provide plenty of incentive for West Australian businesses to hire young local people and give them the start they are craving in the industry they are passionate about. 

This Liberals plan is not only beneficial for our youth, it will also help older West Australians reskill or upskill, including those impacted by COVID-19. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit small businesses hard, with many struggling for survival. The current Jobs and Skills WA Employer Incentive is only available for businesses with a payroll less than $1 million. The Liberals 20,000 Local Apprentice Boost will expand the eligibility to businesses up to a payroll of $3 million. It means more than 7000 additional businesses will be eligible for the new incentive to take on a young West Australian apprentice or trainee.

Updated: December 2020.

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