The Skills and Training Boost in This Years’ Federal Budget
On Tuesday the 29th of March 2022 the Treasurer delivered the 2022 – 2023 Federal Budget. Australia watched on to see what the government would focus on in the leadup to the federal election, just now announced to be held on the 21st of May 2022.
The Budget announcement delivered several wins for small business and employers as well as current apprentices and trainees and those who are hoping to enter the workforce as an apprentice or trainee this financial year. The announcements included a Skills and Training Boost, technology incentives as well as an extension to the Boosting Apprenticeships Commencement wage subsidy.
Investing in skills was one of the government’s strongest points in this years’ Budget, in response to skills shortages that are impacting almost every single industry. In this Budget, the Government will invest a further $2.8 billion to support Australian apprenticeships, building on the $13.3 billion spent on apprenticeships and traineeships since 2013.
Skills and Training Boost
This Budget included more incentives for employers to support their employees through training and professional development, offering a 20 percent bonus deduction for eligible external training courses for upskilling employees.
The Skills and Training Boost will apply to expenditure incurred from Budget night until 30 June 2024, providing $550 million in tax relief. This means that for every $100 you spend on upskilling your team with training, you will get a $120 tax deduction!
The importance of ongoing professional development for employees cannot be understated. Providing your employees with the opportunity to participate in accredited or non-accredited training improves their skills and boosts overall morale and commitment to the business. When you invest in your staff, they will invest in productivity for your business.
There are many different qualifications your staff members could undertake regardless of the industry you are in or the type of business that you run. If you are looking to boost your marketing in the coming years, investing in team members so they understand marketing fundamentals is important. Start by enrolling them in a Certificate IV in Marketing and Communication. This qualification will also equip them with the foundations to be able to assist in developing and delivering digital marketing campaigns in your business.
If you are looking to improve the way your team respond to work health and safety matters, there are qualifications ranging from Certificate III right up to Advanced Diploma in Work Health and Safety they can undertake. Alternatively, now might be the time that your staff would like to elect a Health and Safety Representative. Elected HSR’s are required to undertake training to carry out their duties and with this new announcement, you can claim an extra 20% on the training expenses.
Alternatively, your staff may be requiring a First Aid refresher. This training is also included in the tax relief, and you could receive a 20% bonus tax deduction, just for funding their courses and upskilling your team!
Not only did the Budget include tax breaks for businesses who support employee training, it also included announcements around purchasing technology required to run small businesses.
More than 3.6 million small businesses with an annual turnover of less than $50 million will be able to claim a bonus 20 per cent deduction for the cost of expenses and depreciating assets, up to $100,000 of expenditure per year. This includes the purchase of technology like portable payment devices, cyber security systems or subscriptions to cloud-based IT services.
Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements
Finally, the government has also announced they will be extending the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements (BAC) wage subsidy. The wage subsidy was due to conclude in March 2022, but this has been extended for a further 3 months until June 2022, encouraging more employers to hire new apprentices and trainees. The BAC wage subsidy is worth up to $28,000 over a 12-month period. It is designed to finance 50% of your apprentice or trainee’s wages to the maximum amount of $7000 per quarter.
While the most common types of qualifications undertaken by apprentices are trade-based qualifications, employers can also hire new trainees in areas such as business administration, marketing, project management, work health and safety and human resources and benefit from the BAC wage subsidy.
Overall, this budget announcement is a win for small businesses who are committed to investing in their staff and in technology to grow their businesses. Sustainable and strong business results from this kind of investment. If you’re interested in discussing the training needs of your staff, contact us.