Federal Nationals Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie has congratulated the 42 local businesses who have taken on apprentices under the Federal Government’s trial wage subsidy program.

Dr Gillespie said that he was delighted to see so many local employers take up the incentives available under the program, including subsidies covering up to 75% of an apprentice wage in their first year.

“This is not only helping to create 42 new local jobs, it is also creating a greater capacity for local businesses to expand and create even more jobs,” Dr Gillespie said. “It is also delivering a bigger pipeline of trades and skills in our local area, helping our economy to grow into the future.”

If re-elected, the Nationals in Government will invest a further $60 million to lower the cost of doing business for small businesses and help ensure about 3200 young Australians in rural and regional areas have the opportunity to secure an apprenticeship by expanding the successful Australian Apprentice Wage Subsidy Trial by doubling its size.

The trial wage subsidy program began earlier this year to support eligible new Australian apprentices located in regional areas facing skill shortages. The trial has enabled businesses in rural and regional areas to take on about 1600 more apprentice plumbers, mechanics, electricians, painters and hairdressers than they would otherwise have been able to do. Within weeks of the trial commencing, applications from employers had already exceeded the available spaces.

A re-elected Federal Nationals team will double the program’s size, allowing more regional businesses to be able to afford to take on a new apprentice, giving those young Australians the opportunity to train for a rewarding career in the regions.