Changes announced to the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencement wage subsidy

The Federal Government has announced changes to the recently released Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements (BAC) program designed to address long-term declines in apprenticeships and traineeships.


The program provides a subsidy of 50 per cent of wages paid to an apprentice until 30 September 2021, to a maximum of $7,000 per quarter.

The changes will limit the number of existing workers that can access the program, ensuring there is a clear balance of both new and existing employees accessing the program.

The changes, detailed below, came into effect for commencement on or after the 28 October 2020.

Changes to BAC guidelines for existing workers

For training contracts with a commencement date on or after the 28 October 2020, an existing worker is only eligible to attract the BAC payment for an employer, where the existing worker:

  • commences in a trades-based Australian Apprenticeship*; or
  • transfers from a casual employment to a part-time or full-time Australian Apprenticeship (limit now applies)
  • transfers from a part-time employment to a full-time Australian Apprenticeship (limit now applies).

*A broader trade-based list will be available shortly and will include more qualifications than the National Skills Needs List (NSNL). The NSNL does not include all trade-based qualifications.

A limit of BAC registrations will now apply to employers or host employers of existing workers where the qualification is not trade-based. An employer or host employer will only be eligible for up to 30 BAC places for existing workers:

  • where an existing worker transfers from a casual to a part-time or full-time Australian Apprenticeship; or
  • where an existing worker transfers from a part-time to a full-time Australian Apprenticeship.

For all training contracts with a commencement date of 5 October until 27 October 2020, the broader BAC eligibility applies and there will be no cap or restrictions on the eligibility for BAC for existing workers.

How the VCCI can help

As the Victorian economy begins to recover, reskilling and upskilling will be more important than ever. The Victorian Chamber has long advocated for support for existing employers to upskill and retrain through apprenticeships and traineeships and will continue to lobby for additional support.

If your businesses is considering taking an apprentice or trainee, or would like to upskill a member of your existing workforce, contact the Chamber’s Apprenticeship Support Australia to discuss your business needs and make sure you are accessing all the subsidies and support available. 

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