TAFE NSW is urging businesses across NSW to take advantage of the JobTrainer wage subsidy for new apprentices and trainees before the March closing date.
Under the program, employers that sign up new apprentices or trainees before 31 March can access a 50 per cent wage subsidy over 12 months, with a 10 per cent and five per cent subsidy in the second and third years respectively.
TAFE NSW Head of Agribusiness in Western NSW, Fiona McCauley, said with many industries facing skills shortages in regional NSW, JobTrainer offers a unique opportunity for businesses to skill up new workers.
“JobTrainer was established in October 2020 to help businesses recover from the impacts of COVID-19 but time is running out. If you’ve been thinking of employing a new apprentice or trainee, act now before it’s too late,” Ms McCauley said.
“JobTrainer is providing up to 340,000 additional training places and the number of job seekers and young people undertaking free or low-cost training at TAFE NSW is growing by the day. TAFE NSW offers nationally recognised qualifications under this program and delivers the hands-on, practical skills new workers need to hit the ground running.”
The Australian Bureau of Agriculture, Resource Economics and Sciences has released data predicting the farming sector would reach a historically high value of $73 billion in 2021-22.
However, thousands of new workers are needed to meet industry demand, with the National Farmers Federation’s 2030 Roadmap outlining a vision to grow the agricultural workforce by 25 per cent over the next decade.
Business owner and tradesman Tyler Macey, who operates a sheep grazing property and construction company in Western NSW, described JobTrainer as a “massive win” for business and for youngsters like Jake Williams, a first-year apprentice completing a Certificate III in Feedlot Operations with TAFE NSW.
“Within the two businesses I have been able to employ four new apprentices – because of that 50 per cent subsidy you’re basically getting two for the price of one,” Mr Macey said.
“It’s been incredibly rewarding – I wouldn’t have been able to give guys like Jake a chance if that subsidy wasn’t available.
“It’s an excellent safety net while you’re training new workers and gives you the opportunity to take a bit more care and a bit more time training your apprentices. JobTrainer has helped me grow my workforce and is one of the best programs of its kind I’ve been part of.”
Ms McCauley said TAFE NSW is skilling the agricultural workforce NSW needs for the future.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for many people, industries and businesses. Some Australians have lost their jobs and others are leaving school into a different economy,” she said.
“TAFE NSW can help employers turn this into an opportunity and take advantage of JobTrainer to hire the workers they need to thrive in our post-pandemic world.”
For more information on apprenticeships and traineeships, visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601.