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Budget 2020: Busy border business welcomes new training scheme

border cranes

Border Crane Consultants’ directors Jason and Melissa Barry set a target of employing an additional 20 staff within a year when they cut the ribbon on their expansive new facility in Baranduda, Victoria, last May.

The Covid-busting budget announced earlier this week will go a long way to helping them achieve that goal, said Melissa, whose business prides itself on the success it has with apprentices.

The $1.2bn apprenticeship scheme will subsidise up to 50 per cent of an apprentice’s wages – up to $7000 per quarter – and is available for all new hires from now until September 30 next year.

Employers who take on an unemployed youngster are also now eligible for a $200-a-week wage subsidy for the next 12 months under the JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme.

Employers get $200 a week if they hire someone aged 16 to 29 already on JobSeeker, and $100 a week if taking on someone 30 to 35 years.

“There are a lot of pluses for us as a business and indirect impacts I believe are good for us as well,” said Melissa, who also noticing a significant population drift from Melbourne to the border region since Covid hit.

“Obviously, if the government is supporting housing and construction and infrastructure investments, such as roads, rail and manufacturing, that’s a large portion of our customers, which will have an indirect flow-on for us.”

One transport operator we spoke to, however, said the hiring subsidies won’t have any impact in their sector.

“The industry is just so competitive that the decision to either employ someone or not, is so dependent on demand rather than some push factor created by the government,” he said.

“We’d love to make use of the incentives from government, but the issue of bringing on employees for a role that’s not required is just too inefficient.

“The industry is just too competitive to have that type of waste.”

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