Apprentice Wage Subsidy – COVID-19

Apprentice Wage Subsidy – COVID-19

This assistance will help businesses to retain their employees. The wage subsidy for apprentices and trainees will help to ensure the continued development of the skilled workforce.


The Government is supporting small business to retain their apprentices and trainees. Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage paid during the 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. Where a small business is not able to retain an apprentice, the subsidy will be available to a new employer. Employers will be reimbursed up to a maximum of $21,000 per eligible apprentice or trainee ($7,000 per quarter). Support will also be provided to the National Apprentice Employment Network, the peak national body representing Group Training Organisations, to co-ordinate the re-employment of displaced apprentices and trainees throughout their network of host employers across Australia.


The subsidy will be available to small businesses employing fewer than 20 employees who retain an apprentice or trainee. The apprentice or trainee must have been in training with a small business as at 1 March 2020. An eligible apprentice is a person employed in an Australian Apprenticeship at the Certificate II level or above with a Training contract formally approved by the state training authority.

Employers of any size and Group Training Organisations (GTO) that re-engage an eligible out-of-trade apprentice or trainee will be eligible for the subsidy. If you host apprentices through a GTO, the GTO will apply for the wage subsidy.  Your GTO will receive the reimbursement and they must pass this on to you.  The first reimbursement to you will be half of the wages paid to the apprentice (not half of what you paid to the GTO).

Employers will be able to access the subsidy after an eligibility assessment is undertaken by an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider. This measure will support up to 70,000 small businesses, employing around 117,000 apprentices.


Employers can register for the subsidy from early April 2020. Final claims for payment must be lodged by 31 December 2020.

For further information on how to apply for the subsidy, including information on eligibility, contact an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN), provider.

Budget impact This measure is expected to cost $1.3 billion across 2019-20 and 2020-21.


You cannot claim both Apprentice Wage Subsidy and JobKeeper Payment at the same time.  However, you can claim one and then transfer to the other.

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