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Funding For Employers Training Apprentices On The Right Track, Says Master Plumbers

Master Plumbers says the government’s move to give businesses a financial incentive to train and retain apprentices is the right tool to help curb the drastic drop in apprenticeships.

CEO Greg Wallace says today’s announcement of $1000 per month for an employer for a first-year apprentice and $500 per month up to eight months for a second-year apprentice, will encourage more tradespeople to bear the cost of training an apprentice.

"Unlike other forms of study, such as university courses, apprentices can’t do their training without an employer. But training an apprentice is a big cost for small businesses, and many are reluctant to take on the risk, particularly at times of economic uncertainty.

"Prior to lockdown, our industry was seeing about 102 plumbing apprentices gaining employment a month. It’s plummeted to just 10 per month since COVID-19 hit."

Wallace says the subsidy will do a lot to reduce some of the financial burden for employers.

"This is a lot more valuable for growing apprenticeships than free fees, because free fees does nothing to help the employer-it is only a benefit for the apprentice, as the majority pay their own training fees.

"While free fees will be a welcome saving for the apprentice, the harsh reality is that without a tradesperson willing to employ you as an apprentice, you have no job, or training, or fees to pay," he says.

The apprenticeship support scheme will be available from this August and will run for 20 months, to April 2022.


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