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The Western Australian Government has announced a $24.5 million support package for workers in the building and construction industry to assist them through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The package, which will provide immediate relief to construction apprentices and trainees, and their employers, aims to maintain a skilled workforce throughout the crisis.
The package includes $10 million to provide an immediate, one-off payment of $2,000 to employers of existing apprentices and trainees currently receiving Construction Training Fund (CTF) grant payments.
A new grants scheme worth $9.5 million will be introduced to assist employers to retain their existing apprentices, with payments beginning from 1 June 2020 and backdated from 1 April 2020.
The payments will range from $250 per month to $500 per month per apprentice or trainee, depending on the trades facing the most critical skills shortages in the industry.
This will supplement CTF’s existing grants scheme for a period of six months, with a review after three months to gauge the effectiveness of the temporary model.
Employers currently receiving CTF grants for apprentices and trainees in employment will be eligible for the new grant scheme and will need to provide evidence of the apprentice’s employment, such as a current payslip.
Apprentices and trainees employed in the industry can claim up to $1,000 to support the costs of undertaking short courses to assist them in upskilling.
WA Premier, Mark McGowan, said the construction industry plays an important role in Western Australia and employs thousands of people across a range of trades.
This article first appeared on infrastructuremagazine.com.au
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