New year calls for business training boost: AIG

By: Jason Whittaker


With many businesses gearing up for yet another year of trading this week, the Australian Industry Group is encouraging employers

With many businesses gearing up for yet another year of trading this week, the Australian Industry Group is encouraging employers to consider hiring new apprentices and access extra funding to counteract a predicted skills shortage.

Ai Group Chief Executive Heather Ridout warns while skill shortages were less evident during the GFC, Ai Group research shows shortages are anticipated for "a range of occupations" over the coming year.

"Most prominent among these are technicians and trades workers and engineers," Ridout explains.

"As a short-term measure, and in response to calls for action from Ai Group and other industry bodies, the Federal Government in December introduced the Apprentice Kickstart Bonus which offers additional financial incentives to employers who hire a new apprentice in a traditional trade," she says.

In total, employers are entitled to $7,350 for each new apprentice commencement before February 28 (which includes the additional $3,350 Bonus).

"This will hopefully take some pressure off training budgets and help address the forecast 20 percent drop in apprenticeship starts," Ridout says.

"Given the importance of nipping the re-emergence of skill shortages in the bud, the Government should also remain open to extending the program," she says.

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