New Program to Boost Mature Age Apprenticeships

Apprentice employers today welcomed the West Australian government’s unveiling of a pilot program to help take on mature-age apprentices and trainees in the building and construction industry.

The pilot, announced by Premier Mark McGowan and Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery, will see financial support provided for employers of mature-age apprentices in order to offset higher wage costs.
The government also committed, if re-elected, to funding the ‘gap’ in total wage costs between mature age and junior apprentices for 200 additional apprentices, in a pledge worth $5.2 million.

Stuart Diepeveen, Chairman of the Apprentice Employment Network WA (AEN WA) welcomed the initiatives, saying they would help address a key issue of importance to many employers who want to engage more mature age apprentices and trainees.

“We are seeing many more mature age people wanting to embark on apprenticeships and traineeships, but they face the hurdle of higher wage costs which can serve as a disincentive.
“The COVID pandemic has caused many to re-think their career choices and has seen a lot of interest in apprenticeships and traineeships from older workers.

“We need to look at everything we can to give mature age workers a chance to take up an apprenticeship or traineeship, because they frequently bring added life experience, skills and knowledge, which is a real advantage to their employers,” Mr Diepeveen said.