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Fed: $150 million to help apprentices keep their jobs

19 Feb 2009 6:00 PM
EDS: Embargoed until 1800 AEDT February 19

CANBERRA, Feb 19 AAP - The federal government will pump almost $150 million into a scheme to help apprentices keep their jobs amid the global recession.

Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard said employers and training organisations may be eligible to receive up to an extra $2,800 under the $145.6 million Securing Apprenticeships package.

Some $1,800 is available for employers or training organisations taking on former apprentices or trainees who couldn't complete their apprenticeships because they were laid off by their employers.

A $1,000 payment will also be paid upon the successful completion of eligible apprentices or trainees.

Ms Gillard said the government was already receiving reports that some apprenticeships were being handed back by employers.

"This is one example of the action we are ready to take to counter a downturn in skills investment," she told the Sydney Institute on Thursday.

The payments under the package will be on top of existing incentives.

The program will be targeted at apprentices or trainees at the Certificate III and IV level in areas of skills shortage and at selected Diploma and Advanced Diploma level qualifications.