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Australia to Subsidize Wages of Another 100,000 Trainee Workers

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 10/3/2020 Tracy Withers
a large building: Workers labor at a construction site in Melbourne, Australia, on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020. A twin-speed economy is developing in Australia and posing a challenge for the central bank, as Chinese demand for iron ore buoys the resource-rich west while eastern states struggle with Covid-19 outbreaks and border closures. © Bloomberg Workers labor at a construction site in Melbourne, Australia, on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020. A twin-speed economy is developing in Australia and posing a challenge for the central bank, as Chinese demand for iron ore buoys the resource-rich west while eastern states struggle with Covid-19 outbreaks and border closures.

(Bloomberg) -- Australia will provide a wage subsidy to encourage businesses to hire as many as 100,000 new apprentices or trainee workers as part of its budget strategy to create jobs and boost incomes.

The A$1.2 billion ($860 million) program, which will pay for half of the apprentice’s wage in the first year, will be available from Oct. 5, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Sunday in an emailed statement.

“Apprenticeships are an important pathway to get young people into jobs and to ensure there is a skills pipeline to meet the future needs of employers,” Morrison said. “Whether it’s the manufacturing, housing and construction, arts or mining sectors -- this new wage subsidy gives businesses certainty to hire and provides a career path to aspiring, young tradies.”

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is set to ditch fiscal restraints and unveil a massive surge in government spending to restart the economy when he presents his budget on Oct. 6. The government has signaled the budget focus will be on creating new jobs and boosting incomes. Several ministers have reinforced that message including on TV interviews Sunday.

The subsidy will be available to employers who engage an Australian apprentice or trainee from Oct. 5 until the 100,000 cap is reached. Employers will be able to receive as much as A$7,000 per quarter under the program.

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