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Federal budget gets thumbs up
GoAuto News, Sandringham  by Neil Dowling
19 May 2021
General News - Page 20 - 423 words - ID 1444495504 - Photo: Yes - Type: News Item - Size: 337.00cm2

Training, tax relief, asset write-off extension and road funding a boost for car industry

AUSTRALIA'S automotive future is on the right track as the nation's industry bodies give the thumbs up to the federal budget.

The Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce (VACC) said the budget was "future focused with employment top of the agenda".

The budget outlined a workforce plan with a $2.7 billion commitment over four years from 2020/21 to expand the apprenticeship commencements wage subsidy and support businesses taking on new apprentices and trainees.

The VACC said this would boost apprenticeships and help support economic recovery and make it easier for employers to access and commit to taking on an apprentice.

VACC CEO Geoff Gwilym said the government has set its sights on getting unemployment below five per cent.

"It's ambitious, but fresh investment in apprenticeships and training is key," he said.

"People need jobs, industries need skills. This budget goes beyond acknowledging the problem. It's about putting our money where it's needed most." The latest VACC research shows that the automotive sector alone is suffering from a skills shortage of more than 31,000 workers a snapshot of the chronic issue impacting numerous essential service industries.

The expanded apprenticeships program will open the number of eligible places and increase the duration of the 50 per cent wage subsidy to 12 months from the date an apprentice or trainee commences with their employer.

Another employment-building initiative outlined in the budget and highlighted by the VACC centres on skills reform.

The government has committed $285 million over five years towards skills reform to ensure state governments, employers and students invest in training that delivers the best outcomes to strengthen Australia's skills base.

"Yes, we have made it through a year of unprecedented challenges, but Australia's skills shortage goes way back," Mr Gwilym said.

"We need to maintain a pipeline of workers and can no longer rely on skilled people coming from overseas. We need to look closer to home and create opportunities." The Australian Automotive Dealer Association (AADA), representing franchised new-car dealers, said the budget was a welcome commitment to securing Australia's economic recovery.

AADA CEO James Voortman said the budget confirmed a "stunning" economic recovery for Australia and many of the measures announced will put the automotive industry in a good position to invest in Australia and employ Australians.

"This budget builds on the many measures put in place over the past 12 months which have encouraged business to take the lead inAustralia's economic recovery," he said.


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