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COVID-19 Business Continuity – 16th October

I’m here with the COVID-19 continuity update for Australian businesses on 16th October.

There have been lots of announcements about the wage subsidies available for apprentices. To clarify all of the announcements that have been made this year and give you clarity that you are obtaining the maximum benefit relating to apprentices and trainees, I have put together an overview.

There are two wage subsidy packages available to Australian businesses that are employing apprentices and trainees:
1. Supporting Apprentices and Trainees (SAT)
2. Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements (BAC)

Tenfold guide apprentice trainee wage subsidy

 

Supporting Apprentices and Trainees (SAT)

This package supports small businesses to keep their apprentices and trainees by providing a wage subsidy of up to 50% of their wages up to $7,000 per quarter, per apprentice or trainee.

Any business (regardless of size) that picks up an apprentice or trainee who was let go by a small business is also entitled to the wage subsidy.

SAT Round 1 – announced 12 March 2020

Eligible apprentices/trainees:
• Were employed by a small business on or before 1 March 2020
• Were displaced by a small business and re-engaged by any business

Eligible businesses:
• Small businesses with less than 20 employees, or
• Any size business who re-engages an apprentice/trainee who had been employed by a small business and let go

Subsidy period:
• Wages paid from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020 (SAT Round 2: extended to 31/3/21), paid quarterly in arrears.

SAT Extension – announced 16 July 2020

Eligible apprentices/trainees:
• Were employed by a small or medium business on or before 1 July 2020
• Were displaced by a small business and re-engaged by any business

Eligible businesses:
• Small businesses with less than 20 employees, or
• Medium business with less than 200 employees, or
• Any size business who re-engages an apprentice/trainee who had been displaced by a small business.

Subsidy period:
• Wages paid from 1 July to 31 March 2021, paid quarterly in arrears.

 

Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements (BAC)

Where the SAT package was designed to keep apprentices and trainees employed, the BAC package encourages hiring of new employees. The BAC subsidy is available to any business (regardless of size) that hires a new apprentice or trainee from 5 October. There is a cap of 100,000 apprentices/trainees for this round of funding.

The amount of the wage subsidy is the same as the SAT funding: up to 50% of their wages up to $7,000 per quarter, per apprentice or trainee.

BAC Round 1 – announced 4 October (as part of the 2021 federal budget announcements)

Eligible apprentices/trainees:
• New hires or recommencing apprentices/trainees

Eligible businesses:
• Any size business, anywhere, any industry. First in, first served until the cap of 100,000 apprentices/trainees is reached.

Subsidy period:
• Wages paid from 5 October 2020 to 30 September 2021

Points to note for both SAT and BAC subsidies:
• If you have an apprentice or trainee, you can’t get other wage subsidies for them such as JobKeeper or Job Hiring Credit. Where you’re eligible for multiple subsidies, you’ll need to choose which payment to claim for. Your coach can help you calculate which subsidy will benefit your business the most.

• There’s no limit to the number of apprentices or trainees per employer for either SAT or BAC subsidies.

 

Trainee roles in Australian small businesses
While we are all familiar with apprentices, not as many people know about trainee roles. Like apprentices, trainees can enrol in accredited courses to develop their knowledge and skills to get them job-ready for entry level roles.

Some trainee roles that we’ve seen be useful in Australian businesses are:
• Office admin assistant: the role supports the business by lightening the load of the office manager, thereby freeing them up to do higher value work. Typical duties are general admin tasks such as filing, data entry, scanning, etc. I’ve also seen them take on responsibility for updating the business’ social media profiles with great results. They do a Certificate in Business Management for this role.

• Warehouse trainee: reporting to the warehouse manager, this role assists with the general operations of an efficient warehouse. Typical tasks are “pick and pack”, assisting with despatch, stocktaking. For this role, they do a Certificate in Warehousing Operations.

 

One key point about trainees is that they are not temps or casual workers; they are usually inexperienced and require direction and close supervision (especially in the early part of their role). They are a lower cost resource but they are also lower value while they are getting up to speed.

To get the most out of employing a trainee, there should be someone in your business who can train them and support them as they learn to be a valuable contributor.

If you have any questions about how apprenticeships or traineeships work, I recommend you speak with MEGT, they assisted us with some of the finer details of this briefing. Visit MEGT here https://www.megt.com.au/employers

And of course, our business coaching services can help you work out if/how a subsidised resource could help your business.

Have a great weekend. Here’s hoping for good news for Victorians on Sunday.

Ash

Ashley Thomson B.Eng(Hons), Grad. Dip. Mgmt, MEI
Managing Director
Tenfold Business Coaching

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