Prime Minister Minister for Employment Participation Member for Ballarat 14,000 extra Kickstart apprentices 18 February 2010
Period of Service: 03/12/2007 to 24/06/2010
Release Date: 18/02/2010
Release Type: Media Release
Transcript ID: 17062
Australian businesses are taking advantage of the Rudd Government's $100 million Apprentice Kickstart bonus, with over 14,000 apprentices signed up before the initiative is set to end on 28 February 2010.
Apprentice commencements have taken off in February, with 4317 eligible Kickstart apprentices being signed up in the last two weeks alone.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Minister for Employment Participation Mark Arbib today encouraged businesses to make sure they don't miss out on the extra $3,350 on offer.
Under Kickstart, the Rudd Government has more than tripled the commencement bonus for employers in the first year, from $1500 to $4850.
Employers receive $2350 when they employ a 15 to 19 year-old apprentice in an eligible trade and then receive a further $2500 after the apprentice completes nine months.
The Kickstart bonus is available to employers of apprentices in the fields that have been hardest hit by skills shortages - identified on the National Skills Needs List.
These include butchers, bakers, bricklayers, carpenters, plumbers, electrical trades and hairdressing.
The bonus is available until 28 February 2010 and aims to sign up 21,000 young apprentices.
Member for Ballarat, Catherine King welcomed the figures, saying that Ballarat-based businesses had taken on over 100 Kickstart apprentices since the start of the initiative.
Apprentice Kickstart is providing a down-payment on the skills Australia needs as well as helping to tackle youth unemployment.
The economic downturn particularly hurt apprenticeships, with commencements dropping by about 10,000 in the past year. This bonus will fast-forward hiring decisions - to bring apprentice numbers back up to the levels before the global recession.