Western Australian Senator Peter Georgiou has accused the Federal Government of short-changing WA apprentices in favour of east-coast businesses as part of a national Wage Apprenticeship Subsidy Scheme.
In October, the Federal Government hijacked One Nation’s policy and announced a pilot apprenticeship program for regional businesses across the country, to help boost regional employment in the midst of a population drain.
Up to 1630 places have been offered under the 60-million dollar pilot scheme, with wages for First, Second and Third year apprentices subsidised by the Commonwealth.
“Up to 134 WA mum and dad businesses around the state will get to hire an apprentice. That number is well below the fair reflection of our population base and doesn’t go far enough” Senator Georgiou said.
“WA’s population sits around 2.7 million, and we only get 134 spots for a national program. That’s not even 10-percent of the national quota. How is that fair?”
|Australian Apprentice distribution||Proportion available
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*Note – the total number of Australian Apprentices is greater than 1630 due to rounding (Australian Government Department of Education and Training)
“I’ve had calls to my office from mechanics, plumbers and flooring businesses in Katanning, Geraldton and Albany who’ve missed out because they didn’t know about the scheme or only found out about it from a brochure I promoted on the eve of the program’s launch on January 1”.
“Now it’s been revealed that New South Wales, typically, gets the bulk of the apprentices. Last time I looked WA made up one-third of Australia’s landmass”.
“WA’s unemployment rate is the highest in the nation at 6.8%. The Federal Government had an opportunity to affect change but again it’s bowing down to eastern states pressure and as a result has short changed Western Australians across the state”.