Expanded support for Wide Bay apprentices to secure Australia’s future workforce

September 25, 2021

Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien has welcomed expanded support to help apprentices finish their training, through the $716 million Completing Apprenticeship Commencements program.

The new program will extend support from the $3.9 billion Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements program into the second and third years of an eligible Australian Apprenticeship.

Under the new changes from October 2021, eligible employers will receive a 10 per cent wage subsidy in the second year of an eligible apprenticeship, and five per cent in the third year.

The Morrison Government’s investment is expected to continue to support the 270,000 anticipated commencements under the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements program from October 2020 to March 2022. 

Mr O’Brien said the Morrison Government’s Completing Apprenticeship Commencements program would help ensure Wide Bay apprentices could complete their training and get a strong start to their careers as part of a skilled workforce.

“This will give employers the confidence to retain an apprentice through their second and third years of training, supporting local businesses and local jobs,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements program is already supporting almost 500 trainees in Wide Bay, and this extension through the Completing Apprenticeship Commencements program will help businesses to create even more jobs and support our National Economic Recovery Plan for Australia.”

Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, Stuart Robert, said the new Completing Apprenticeship Commencements program will help maintain a pipeline of skilled workers right across the economy with 348,200 Australians training as at June 2021, 30 per cent more than the previous 12 months. 

“The Morrison Government has supported a generation of Australian apprentices in the face of the biggest shock to our economy since World War Two,” Minister Robert said.

“While other countries shed their apprentice workforces, our highly successful Boosting Apprenticeship Commencement program saw new apprenticeships increase 141.5 per cent year on year.”

Securing the skilled workforce of tomorrow through the Completing Apprenticeship Commencements program is in addition to a record $6.4 billion investment in skills this financial year, including a $500 million expansion of the JobTrainer Fund, which recently hit more than 230,000 course enrolments.

For further information on how to apply for the program, including information on eligibility, visit www.dese.gov.au/boosting-apprenticeship-commencements or contact an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider.



Through the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements program, any business or Group Training Organisation that engages an Australian Apprentice between 5 October 2020 and 31 March 2022 may be eligible for a subsidy of 50 per cent of wages paid to a new or recommencing apprentice or trainee. The subsidy is available for wages paid over a 12‑month period from the date of commencement, to a maximum of $7,000 per quarter.

Eligibility for the Completing Apprenticeship Commencements program includes having received support through the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements program for an employed apprentice.


In the spirit of Australia, I acknowledge all citizens who contribute to making our nation the greatest on earth.

I acknowledge our defence force personnel, past, present, and emerging, for their service to our nation, and particularly those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the defence of Australia.

I also acknowledge the Australian taxpayers who, through their hard work, pay for the infrastructure, health, education, and emergency services that keep our proud nation healthy, safe, and prosperous.