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The number of subsidised apprenticeships in regional areas will double under a re-elected Federal Government, creating more jobs for young people.

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester welcomed today’s $60 million funding announcement to support small businesses and double the number of subsidised apprenticeships under the Australian Apprenticeship Wage Subsidy.

“These apprenticeships in regional areas are subsidised at 75 per cent of the apprentice’s award wage in the first year, followed with 50 per cent in the second year and 25 per cent in the third year,” Mr Chester said.

“Anything we can do as a government to help small business and young people in regional areas to achieve their full potential is obviously great news for Gippsland.

“It’s great for small businesses, and it’s great for young people in regional areas who’ll be able to achieve the trade skills they need to go and have successful careers in our regional communities.”

A trial wage subsidy program began earlier this year to support apprentices located in regional areas in occupations facing skills shortages.   32 Gippsland businesses are already approved to receive subsidies under the initial trial.

“The trial has supported businesses to take on apprentice plumbers, mechanics, electricians, painters, hairdressers and other trades facing skills shortages,” Mr Chester said.

“The wage subsidy complements other incentives currently available and supports full-time apprentices working in regional areas in occupations on the National Skills Needs List.”

Today’s announcement builds on the Federal Government’s $525 million Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow package that will create up to 80,000 new apprenticeships in areas of skills shortages, support school-leavers and job-seekers by establishing 10 industry training hubs in areas with high youth employment, and provide a comprehensive roadmap to strengthen the vocational education and training sector.

Continued investments in skills will help fulfil the Coalition Government’s pledge to create 1.25 million jobs over the next five years, including 250,000 new jobs for young Australians.

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