There Has Never Been A Better Time For An Apprentice, Here’s Why

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Apprenticeship pathways have been a benefit and positive scheme for Victorian businesses for a number of years. Employer incentives have supported businesses taking on apprentices and retaining an apprenticeship base as part of their business structure. However, COVID-19 emerged in early March 2020 and completely altered the landscape for both businesses and their capability to continue to embrace apprentices. 

The reality of COVID-19 hit hard in the middle of the year, most notably in the areas of hairdressing, barbering and floristry. With businesses not able to trade, apprentices were all but left a drift. This has had a devastating impact on individuals that were apprentices and for those that were hopeful of becoming an apprentice. The simple fact has been that businesses either were forced to stand down their apprentices or simply restructure without them. 

This was and is an extremely difficult reality for us at Marjorie Milner College as we are an advocate for apprenticeship and were disappointed that there was very little support offered to businesses in the first weeks of Victoria’s battle with COVID-19. Since then however, we have seen various schemes be announced by both the Federal and State Governments which has provided a light and financial advantage for businesses.

We were enormously encouraged by the Government’s further initiative in announcing the ‘Apprenticeship Wage Subsidy’. This will see 100,000 new apprenticeship positions that will leave the COVID-19 economic recovery. It is a massive boost to eligible businesses and acknowledges the essential standing and contribution that apprentices and their employers have to the Australian economy. 

So we wanted to get to the nitty gritty and what this means for apprentices and employers. 

Apprenticeship subsidy: What is the Government Offering? 

    • Businesses who take on a new Australian apprentice will be eligible for a 50% wage subsidy. This will be regardless of  location, occupation, industry or business size. This means any Hairdressing, Barbering or Floristry business may be eligible to receive this subsidy to take on an apprentice. 
    • The subsidy will be available to employers who take on an apprentice until the 100,000 cap has been reached.

What Businesses are Eligible? 

    • Businesses that engage an apprentice between October 5th 2020 and 30 of September 2021 and; 
    • the apprentice or trainee are undertaking a Certificate II or higher qualification and their training contract is approved by the appropriate state authority.

Remember that all industries, business sizes and occupations are eligible. 

How Much Will A Business Get? 

    • All eligible employers will get a wage subsidy of 50% of their apprentice’s ‘gross’ wage paid
    • a total maximum payment is $7,000 per quarter, per eligible apprentice
    • wages between October 5th 2020 and September 30th 2021 will be covered

Other Important Points for Employers

    • The subsidy will be available to employers of any size, industry or location 
    • There is a cap of 100,000 apprenticeship places
    • The subsidy won’t be available to an apprentices that is receiving any other form of Australian Government wage, for example, JobKeeper
    • Payments are given quarterly in arrears. First claims will be available from January 1st 2021
    • Final claims will need to be lodged by December 31st 2021  

We encourage all employers and businesses to research for themselves further details on the scheme as each circumstance will be unique. See below links for some additional information. 

Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements  and Supporting Apprentices and Trainees

We also encourage contact with a local apprenticeship support center where employers can discuss their options in detail and commence the process of sign up. 

If you have questions relating to training your apprentices we are available to have a chat  James Milner our Student Services Manager will have all the details relevant to you and your apprentice or prospective apprentice. He can be reached on (03) 9880 7257 or alternatively via email at 

For more information about apprenticeship in hairdressing please click
For more information about apprenticeship in floristry please click
For more information about apprenticeship in barbering please click.