Australian Government To Review Apprenticeships Incentive System

The federal government will conduct a strategic review of the Australian Apprenticeships Incentive System as the country faces the most serious skills shortage in decades.

Led by Justice Iain Ross, formerly a judge of the Federal Court of Australia and a past president of the Fair Work Commission, and Lisa Paul, previously a former secretary of the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and secretary of the Department of Education and Training, the review will look at:

  • How the incentive system and complementary services are performing in helping the take up and completion of apprenticeships and traineeships
  • The impact that cost-of-living pressures are having on apprentices and trainees
  • How the apprenticeship system can best support high quality apprenticeships and traineeships, including the roles of government support, workplace conditions and culture, and employers
  • If the current system is creating a training environment encouraging women, First Nations people, people with disability and people in regional, rural and remote communities into apprenticeships and traineeships
  • How the incentive system can be aligned with the priorities in the 2023 Employment White Paper and the Australian Government’s broader economic objectives

While financial support for apprentices and trainees is scheduled to change from 1 July 2024, the government said the review will assist it to implement a more effective, sustainable and long-term incentive system for apprentices and trainees.

The review will accept written submissions until 15 May 2024 and establish a national programme of online and face-to-face consultations in the coming weeks.

“Getting the best outcomes for apprentices and trainees is vital to ensuring we have the skills our economy needs,” said Brendan O’Connor, Minister for Skills and Training. “We know that almost half of all apprentices don’t complete their training. Addressing the completion rate is not just vitally important for individuals and employers, but also for the Australian economy.”