Apprentices gifted a $1000 cash boost to finish their training

Jarrod Brown
By Jarrod Brown
3 Min Read

The Western Australian government has announced a new cash-in-hand initiative to encourage apprentices to continue and finish their training. 

Earlier this year, Master Builders Australia revealed apprentice numbers had taken a nosedive in the back half of 2023. According to the organisation, only 42,333 tradies in training entered into the building and construction industry, representing an almost 25 per cent reduction on the previous years already dwindling numbers. 

With labour shortages putting the state on track to fall over 15,000 homes short in the lead-up to the National Housing Accords, the WA government is trying to entice apprentices back into the industry with a $1,000 cash bonus.

Starting January 1st next year, apprentices will have 12 months to claim the cash once they reach yearly training milestones.

Eligible employers are also being incentivised to take on three to four-year apprentices as they will get a base grant of $15,000, up from the previous $12,000. Employers of 18-24 month apprentices will receive a base grant of $12,500, up from $10,000.

The initiative will also attempt to tap into “traditionally underutilised areas” of the workforce by increasing of bonus rates for employing a female or mature-aged apprentice or trainee from 20 per cent to 40 per cent. 

The payment comes on top of the state’s Apprentice Tool Allowance, which already awards eligible apprentices a $1000 rebate on tools or safety equipment at both the beginning and end of their training.

WA Premier Roger Cook said his government is “doing everything we can to boost supply and get more people into homes”.

“It’s critical that we support local people into good jobs in the building and construction industry, and we have been working with business and training providers on the best ways to further grow this key workforce,” he said.

“Our 2024-25 State Budget will include generous new payments for construction apprentices at the beginning, middle and end of their training, providing an additional incentive for them to complete their qualifications as well as cost-of-living support as they start their careers.

“We’re also providing bonuses to give apprentices the tools they need when they need them most, and support for employers to help them take on more building and construction apprentices.”

Treasurer Rita Saffioti said there has “never been a better time to take up an apprenticeship.”

“Programs and incentives like this Apprenticeship Support Package and increases to existing ones like the Government’s Apprentice Tool Allowance are really important in attracting and retaining apprentices, which we know will help boost our housing supply and build more homes for Western Australians,” she added.

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Jarrod Brown combines his background in journalism, copywriting and digital marketing with a lifelong passion for storytelling. He has a strong passion for new and emerging consumer technology within the building sector. He lives on the Sunshine Coast - usually found glued to the deck of a surfboard.