Would you like to employ an adult apprentice (over 21 years), and benefit from their maturity and experience? Would you like to receive an incentive of up to $26,800 — and possibly more — for your business? If you answered YES! to both these questions, our new Jobs and Skills WA Adult Apprentice Employer Incentive (AAEI) is for you!
The AAEI was introduced in 1 July 2021, in response to an election commitment by the State Government to assist employers and provide a pipeline of skilled workers in Western Australia.
This program is now fully subscribed for the 100 places available in the 2021—22 financial year. On 5 August it was announced that a further 100 places would be brought forward from the 2022—23 financial year allocation, and these are also now fully subscribed; however there's a range of other employer incentives that you may be eligible for — please visit our Incentives to employ and train page to find out more.
Read on to find out more about employing an adult apprentice, and the incentives you could be eligible for.
Jobs and Skills WA Adult Apprenticeship Employer Incentive.
As an employer, hiring an apprentice is a commitment over three or four years with the aim of developing a skilled and professional employee that knows your business. You want to be sure your apprentice is equally committed — someone who has chosen this as their career, will stay with your business, and help it grow for the long term.
Adult apprentices can offer you that commitment, and so much more. They can offer a positive work ethic, maturity, reliability and transferrable skills and experience; and they know the importance of working as part of a team. Maybe this is their first serious job, or they have worked in this field for a while but want to get trades qualified, or perhaps they're changing careers — either way, they can be more efficient, dedicated and personable employee for your business.
What is an "adult" apprentice?
An adult apprentice, also known as a mature age apprentice, is one who begins an apprenticeship at 21 years of age or older (as defined by Australia's Fair Work Ombudsman).
Are the wages higher?
Yes, the wage rates are a little higher for an adult apprentice than for a 16 or 17-year old. But many employers will tell you the benefits of hiring an adult apprentice far outweigh the short-term cost of the higher wages.
Adult apprentices are often more immediately productive in the workplace because they need less supervision and management, and learn faster, so your return on investment comes more quickly.
And now, the Jobs and Skills WA Adult Apprentice Employer Incentive of up to $26,800 can help offset those costs!
Do businesses really employ adult apprentices?
Yes! The percentage of adult apprentices has increased compared with younger apprentices, since 1996. Between 1996 and 2018, adult apprentices who commence in a trade increased from 8% to 22% and this growth has continued (source: National Centre for Vocational Education Research [NCVER]).
Is an "adult apprenticeship" different to a regular apprenticeship?
No, all aspects of an adult apprenticeship are exactly the same as a regular apprenticeship. There is no difference.
You may like to take a look at Employ Outside the Box | The Business Case for Recruiting and Retaining Mature Age Workers, published by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to find out more about the benefits of hiring adult workers.
How does the AAEI work?
The Jobs and Skills WA Adult Apprentice Employer Incentive (AAEI) provides financial assistance to eligible WA businesses and employers whose apprentice/s commence on or after 1 July 2021. The aim of the AAEI is to increase apprenticeship commencements by:
- removing the wage gap barrier for employers to hire adult apprentices;
- providing skilled job opportunities and reducing unemployment;
- alleviating skill shortages; and
- ensuring the continued supply of a skilled workforce to the WA labour market.
The AAEI cap of 100 places for the 2021—22 financial year has now been fully allocated. In response to the successful take up of the AAEI, on 5 August it was announced that the 100 places allocated to the 2022—23 financial year will be brought forward, and those have now also been fully subscribed.
Eligible employers will receive an automated notification if they have been allocated one of the additional 100 places for the 2021—22 financial year.
Please note that should an eligible training contract be terminated prior to its completion, its allocated place will be reassigned to the next eligible training contract on a first come first served basis.
How much is the incentive?
Eligible employers receive payments of $6,700 per annum, paid at three milestone payment points over the life of the training contract. The total amount of payments you're entitled to is dependent on the nominal term of the training contract.
The training contract
A WA Australian Apprenticeships Support Network (AASN) provider will work with you to establish the apprenticeship and develop the training contract. Once the training contract is signed, the AASN lodges it for registration with the Department of Training and Workforce Development.
Where can I find an adult apprentice?
Your local Jobs and Skills Centre can work with you to find the right candidate for your adult apprenticeship. Their services are free, and there's 15 JSCs across WA. Call your local JSC on 13 64 64 to see how they can help you.
Can I also access other incentives and subsidies?
Yes! You may be eligible to access other incentives such as the Jobs and Skills WA Employer Incentive of up to $8,500, and wage subsidies. Call our Apprenticeship Office helpline on 13 19 54 to find out more.
For further information about the AAEI, including the eligibility requirements for employers, please view our Jobs and Skills WA Adult Apprenticeship Employer Incentive fact sheet.
For full details of the AAEI, including information about payments, please view our Jobs and Skills WA Adult Apprenticeship Employer Incentive terms and conditions.
Am I eligible for AAEI?
Employers who are eligible to access the Adult Apprentice Employer Incentive are:
- employers of apprentices who are 21 years of age or older;
- employers within a large corporate entity who pay apprentice wages (paying entity) on behalf of employing entities within the same corporate structure;
- group training organisations (GTOs);
- Local Government and Government Trading Enterprises (GTEs); and
- not for profit organisations.
You may be eligible for partial payments if:
- the apprentice moves in and out of WA during the course of their training contract;
- you employ an apprentice who commenced their training with another employer; and/or
- your eligibility to receive one of the incentives listed above changes during the period of the training contract.
Who is not eligible for AAEI?
Employers who are not eligible for the Adult Apprentice Employer Incentive are:
- employers of trainees;
- State and Commonwealth government agencies;
- employers of apprentices who live outside of WA;
- employing entities who do not pay wages directly to their apprentices but have these wages paid by a related subsidiary entity within a larger corporate group; and
- employers who are eligible to receive any of the following Incentives:
- Jobs and Skills WA Defence Industry Incentive;
- Construction Training Fund (CTF) mature age wage gap program; and
- the Department’s GTO Infrastructure program.
- employers who register a training contract for an adult apprentice, after the cap of 100 places is reached.
Please read the AAEI terms and conditions for further information.
Apprenticeship Office Helpline
Need support, information or assistance?
Ring the Apprenticeship Office Helpline on 13 19 54!
We can help you with:
- information about financial incentives and support for employers of apprentices;
- free training for apprentices and trainees;
- support for apprentices and trainees to stay employed; and
- assistance on managing the training contract and navigating the training system.
For callers outside of WA, please phone us on 08 6551 5499. You can also contact Apprenticeship Office by email via firstname.lastname@example.org, or use their online enquiry form and they will contact you.
Free support from your local Jobs and Skills Centre
Jobs and Skills Centres, located across Perth and regional Western Australia, provide information and support about training, careers and job searching. They can help you with information about apprenticeships, and your workforce development needs, and advise about available financial incentives and subsidies that you may be eligible for. They also work closely with the local community and have jobseekers looking for apprenticeships. All services are free! Contact your local JSC to find out how they can help you.