Australian Apprenticeships – Changes to Incentives – Payroll Tax, Workcover

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Australian Apprenticeships – Changes to Incentives – Payroll Tax, Workcover

The Apprenticeships for the 21st Century Expert Panel recommended that the Australian Government reform the Australian Apprenticeships system, including through improved targeting of resources under the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program (AAIP).

The Australian Government’s response supports the recommendation and agreed that incentives can be better targeted to meet Australia’s skills needs. Reforms announced in the 2012 Budget, respond to this recommendation and build on previously announced reforms to the Australian Apprenticeships system, including investment in mentoring, reform of support services and national harmonisation.

The following changes to the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program will be implemented from 1 July 2012:

  • changes to the standard employer incentives for employers of existing workers undertaking an Australian Apprenticeship (at the Certificate III level and above) in an occupation not listed on the *National Skills Needs List. The following changes apply for this cohort:
    • removal of the standard commencement payment
    • increased standard completion payment (from $2,500 to $3,000)
    • movement of the timing of payment of the standard commencement payment from being paid at three months after commencement to six months after commencement.

Also announced as part of the 2012-2013 Budget:

  • development of a new, streamlined, e-business enabled Australian Apprenticeships payment and tracking system
  • the Training Support Post Apprenticeship initiative that will provide $19.5 million over four years to support up to 3,500 people who have recently completed their trade training and are seeking to establish a new business or to operate as a sub-contractor.  This initiative will help sub?contractors and new business operators meet business and employment regulations, and develop sound financial and business plans.

Details of all the incentives on offer are available here:

Why the change?  Aside from balancing the budget it’s all about [low] completion with information on rates available here:

Apprenticeship and Traineeship annual 2010:

Completion and attrition rate for apprentices and trainees:

Overview of how completion rates are calculated:

Payroll Tax and Workcover – Guide to Legislation in each State/Territory

Note: Thanks to for compiling the information on Payroll Tax and Workcover.  Subscribe to their online service for the latest on funding opportunities.

Australian Capital Territory

Under the Payroll Tax Act 1987, a Payroll Tax exemption is the only incentive offered in the ACT for wages paid or payable. Details on all Payroll Tax exemptions can be found on the ACT Revenue Office Website

Payroll tax compliance including claiming of apprentices:


New South Wales

Employing an apprentice:

Payroll tax arrangements for apprentices and trainees;

Workcover incentives:

Current legislation:

Northern Territory

Payroll tax changes Budget 2012-2013:



Payroll tax changes:

Apprentice and trainee exemptions:

Workcover legislation:

South Australia

Revenue SA has all the information on payroll tax in SA:

This document explains payroll tax and how calculations are made in regard to gross wages when businesses employ an apprentice.

Workcover changes:


Payroll tax information: Tax

Employers guide to payroll tax:$File/PRT0255.pdf



Refocused VET:

Changes to payroll tax:

Workcover – Changes to premiums from 1 July, 2012

Western Australia

Payroll tax changes Budget 2012 – 2013:


Note: Applications are currently being invited from private Registered Training Organisations to delivery traineeship and apprenticeship training.

Registered Training Organisation?  Here’s information on User Choice Funding.

Australian Apprenticeships Reform – Background

On Tuesday 6 December 2011, Senator Chris Evans, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations outlined the Australian Government’s intentions for reform of Australian Apprenticeships.

The seven member Expert Panel, chaired by Mr Jim McDowell included a Skills Australia board member and individuals from industry, unions and academia. The Expert Panel was appointed by the Australian Government in July 2010, to provide advice on reform options for the Australian Apprenticeships system. The Expert Panel presented its final report to the Australian Government.

The report was publicly released on 21 February 2011.

Expert Panels Report

Page 2 and 3 has actions points. Recommendations are on page 18.

The Australian Government sought submissions from interested parties on future reform options for the Australian Apprenticeships system, following the release of the Expert Panel report. This was an opportunity for stakeholders and members of the community who have considered the report to provide their feedback and suggestions. Submissions are now closed.

  • Submissions received in response to the Expert Panel report

The Government also consulted with stakeholders to consider additional opportunities to align the Australian Apprenticeships system with the needs of the economy, particularly in relation to support services, government financial support and simplifying the system. A discussion paper was released to support consultations:

  • Australian Apprenticeships Reform Discussion Paper (PDF 820KB | RTF 437KB)

In line with the shared responsibility theme, the consultations focused on getting input from Australian industry and employers more broadly, key industry sectors, state and territory Governments and those organisations which are involved with the delivery of Australian Apprenticeships.

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