As a vital part of its COVID-19 economic recovery plan, the Australian government has established a $2 billion skills package called JobTrainer.
The initiative aims to stimulate the employment sector and upskill workers in key growth industries, which means there are big benefits for HVAC employers and AMCA members.
What is JobTrainer?
The JobTrainer package is a federal and state government co-funding initiative in two parts.
The first part of the fund, worth $1.5 billion, aims to keep those already in apprenticeships and traineeships employed through wage subsidies.
The second part of JobTrainer focuses on school leavers and job seekers, providing $500 million for up to an additional 340,000 free or low-cost vocational education and training courses.
Funding for courses in key industries such as health, transport, warehousing, manufacturing, retail, and wholesale trade will be prioritised.
What are the benefits of JobTrainer?
AMCA members and business owners, managers, and team leaders within the HVAC industry can access subsidised wages for full-time and part-time apprentices and trainees through the JobTrainer fund.
The initiative will cover 50 per cent of wages of up to $7,000 per quarter, enabling HVAC employers to manage cash flow challenges, keep apprentices and trainees employed, and shape a highly skilled workforce.
Importantly, HVAC employers do not need to have reduced turnover in their business to be eligible, unlike JobKeeper.
The federal government estimates approximately 90,000 businesses will use the scheme, supporting 180,000 apprentices or trainees.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the JobTrainer package was focused on getting people into jobs.
“JobTrainer will ensure more Australians have the chance to reskill or upskill to fill the jobs on the other side of this crisis,” the Prime Minister said.
“COVID-19 is unprecedented, but I want Australians to be ready for the sorts of jobs that will come as we build back and recover. The jobs and skills we’ll need as we come out of the crisis are not likely to be the same as those that were lost.”
Who is eligible for JobTrainer?
JobTrainer is available to anyone aged 17-24 who is an Australian citizen, a permanent resident, a New Zealand citizen, or an asylum seeker. Job seekers of any age who hold a healthcare, pension, or Veteran’s Gold Card are also eligible.
Small businesses may be eligible if they employ fewer than 20 people, or if the apprentice or trainee was undertaking an Australian Apprenticeship on July 1, 2020. The cut-off for medium-sized businesses is 200 employees.
Any HVAC employer who re-engages an apprentice or trainee displaced from another eligible small or medium business may also be eligible for the subsidy.
How to apply for JobTrainer funding
We encourage AMCA members to look up their eligibility for the JobTrainer fund so they can take advantage of this initiative before it ends on March 31, 2021.
HVAC employers must first be assessed by the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network before they can access the wage subsidy.
For more information, visit the Australian Apprenticeships website.