What the latest update means for your business
If the last 18 months has taught us anything, it’s that the road to economic recovery from COVID-19 will be a long one. Industries across Australia have been forced to swiftly adapt to new COVID measures. Thankfully the Australian Government has provided initiatives such as JobSeeker and JobKeeper payments. But one of the biggest forms of support for the food processing industry has been the BAC Wage Subsidy. Initially launched back in 2020, the wage subsidy provides financial support to eligible employers who engage a new Apprentice or Trainee.
To reflect the ongoing and challenging conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, the application deadline for this wage subsidy has now been extended. Originally slated for 30 September 2021, the new deadline has been moved to 31 March 2022. This has once again given employers more time to adapt and consider their recruitment options. This new extension is likely to see thousands more Australians taking up the opportunity to start a new traineeship.
With new BAC Wage Subsidy applicants, the food processing industry is positioned to secure new employees and trainees. This is a big win for the industry at large. This wage subsidy is once again opening new opportunities for Australians to take on a traineeship and gain Nationally-Accredited qualifications such as a Certificate III In Food Processing
Who is eligible?
Across Australia, an apprentice or trainee commencing training between 5 October and 31 March 2022 is eligible for the BAC Wage Subsidy. This is regardless of what industry they are in unless they are transitioning from a previous form of employment. So far no age restrictions have been placed on these placements either.
As a sign of the times, more people now have a willingness to change career focus. This has become more evident with the latest numbers on age demographics. Almost one-fifth of new apprentices who have taken placements so far are in the 35+ age group. The wage subsidy is available to existing workers if they are undertaking a trade-based qualification.
For existing workers, they also have to be transitioning from one type of employment to a new apprenticeship or traineeship with the BAC Wage Subsidy program. Whether you are a prospective apprentice, trainee, or business, there are further eligibility criteria that must be met. The criteria for applying for the BAC grant remains the same.
- Apprentices/trainees must be commencing or recommencing an Australian apprenticeship/traineeship
- Apprentices/trainees must be undertaking a Certificate II or higher qualification.
- The training contract must be approved by the relevant state training authority
- If you’re a current employee, you must be transitioning from casual, part-time or full-time work
How much is the wage subsidy?
The wage subsidy comes as a huge financial relief and incentive for both employees looking for work and employers looking to boost their workforce. As Australian borders tightened in 2020, more opportunities are now open to the local workforce in food processing.
As it currently stands, any business that engages an Australian trainee or apprentice is eligible for a subsidy of 50% of the trainee’s/apprentice’s gross wages paid. The maximum allowance for the subsidy is $28,000 per annum, per eligible trainee/apprentice. This wage subsidy will only cover wages from the 12 months after the commencement date of the apprenticeship/traineeship.
How do I start the application process?
For anyone looking to apply for a BAC Wage Subsidy, the Department of Education, Skills, and Employment recommends you contact your local Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider for assistance or you can contact National Food Institute
Since the release of the BAC Wage Subsidy, we have helped trainees and businesses with the application process. If you need any assistance with a BAC application or have questions, feel free to reach out.
Contact NFI today for BAC Wage Subsidy application assistance.