Return of the Kickstart Bonus to boost building workforce

TONI Bellos, manager of Northern Rivers Group Training, has welcomed the Federal Government's reintroduction of the Apprentice Kickstart Bonus.

Ms Bellos said under the initiative, incentives paid to employers hiring apprentice plumbers, electricians, carpenters and other construction tradespeople will rise significantly.

Small and medium employers who employ an apprentice between December and February, will receive an additional $3350 in two instalments, taking the total support for a traditional trade apprentice to $12,850.

The initial focus is on construction and the incentives will be limited to 21,000 new recruits.

"Even though construction activity is flat at the moment, forecasts are for it to pick up in 2014-15," she said.

"Smart companies should look to invest now in apprentices to be ready for an uptake in work.

"Sourcing an apprentice employed by a group training company such as NRGT removes the hassle of employing, paying and administering a new recruit, freeing them to focus on providing that young person with meaningful and productive work experience for their company."

"These incentives make apprenticeships through group training companies even more affordable."

Under the reforms announced on Friday, the Government will also pro-rata incentives paid to part-time and casual trainees in non-shortage occupations.

Ms Bellos said the apprenticeship incentive provided some good news after the Joint Group Training Scheme was scrapped last month.

There is more about the bonus and Northern Rivers Group Training at

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