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Looking at JobTrainer for Employees and Employers

*JobTrainer extended* – Update as of 12 May 2021

The Government has committed an additional $500 million to extend the JobTrainer scheme by a further 163,000 places, and extend the program until 31 December 2022. JobTrainer is matched by state and territory governments and provides job seekers, school leavers and young people access to free or low-fee training places in areas of skills shortages.


The Federal and State Governments have spent billions of dollars over the past few months in response to COVID-19 in the form of stimulus measures such as JobKeeper payments and an increase of the Instant Asset Write-Off threshold. Where schemes like these exist to keep businesses afloat; allow individuals to retain employment; and sustain spending in the economy; the latest announcement from the Government takes a slightly different approach.

The JobTrainer program has two main aims: first is to proactively upskill Australians to be able to gain or keep employment in sectors with greater job opportunities and are crucial to the economy’s recovery and growth. The second aim is to incentivise employers to take on and retain apprentices by extending the existing apprentice wage subsid. Approximately $2.5 billion will be invested into the scheme and with incentives on offer for both employers and employees, the future for the job market and broader economy appear a little clearer.

Employees & JobTrainer

In a job market that’s flooded with people who have been stood down or made redundant as a result of COVID-19, the prospects for those searching for employment are pretty bleak at the moment. The JobTrainer scheme will look to open up nearly 350,000 training places for high school leavers and job seekers so they can participate in short- and long-term courses, developing new skills in economic growth sectors. The Federal Government is still in the process of determining which qualifications and skillsets are most in-demand and crucial to the greater economic recovery process, and this will guide the courses that will be offered.

Employers & JobTrainer

While it looks at this stage that the training course programs won’t have much of an impact on businesses in the short term, the long-term goal is to create a large pool of potential workers that have the requisite skills to perform important and economically stimulating jobs. This is especially pertinent as many of the jobs hit hardest in the mass redundancies and standing down of employees as a result of COVID-19 won’t be the same jobs required as the economy rebuilds.

Another feature of the JobTrainer program with a more immediate impact is the extension of the existing apprentice wage subsidy. This means that employers with up to 200 employees (increased from up to 20) can access a 50% wage subsidy for apprentices employed from 1 July 2020. Practically speaking, eligible employers will be reimbursed 50% for each eligible apprentice’s wage up to $7,000 per quarter. The bottom line here is that more businesses are able to access the apprentice wage subsidy and potentially increase the number of apprenticeships on offer.

Next Steps

The list of training courses under the JobTrainer program are yet to be fully established, as the Federal Government works alongside the States and Territories to determine which skills will be in highest demand for economic recovery and growth. Regarding the apprentice wage subsidy, small businesses (<20 employees) are able to claim the subsidy now; and medium-size businesses (<200 employees) are able to claim from 1 October. Note that there are some eligibility criteria that need to be met to qualify, you can find more information on that here. It is also worth remembering that the apprentice wage subsidy and JobKeeper payments do not work together. As such, employers cannot claim the apprentice wage subsidy and JobKeeper payment for the same apprentice.

If you’d like more information on the various Government stimulus packages, and how they affect you or your business, check out the latest posts on our news page. For direct support in navigating the stimulus payments during tax time, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on 08 9301 2200 or visit

References & Further Reading

written by:

Prior to forming McKinley Plowman, Nigel specialised in management consulting and international accounting, enjoying success in Australia and in the United Kingdom. His extensive experience in management consulting, international accounting and innovative tax structures has been a major driver in the success of McKinley Plowman as well as the many businesses he has steered towards new levels. Nigel is dedicated to fast-tracking his client goals with cutting edge tax and business strategies. He is a member of the CPAs and the Taxation Institute of Australia and enjoys developing tax strategies that work well here and around the world.

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