Release type: Media Release


More assistance for apprentices and employers to address skills shortages


The Hon Brendan O'Connor MP
Minister for Skills and Training

The Albanese Government is taking action to support apprentices and address widespread skills shortages by expanding a list of priority occupations that will receive additional financial support.

The number of occupations covered by the Australian Apprenticeship Priority List has been expanded from 77 to 111, as part of the Australian Apprenticeship Incentive System.

This will increase the number of occupations eligible for additional support, including up to $5,000 in direct payments to apprentices, and a wage subsidy of up to $15,000 for employers.

Minister for Skills and Training, the Hon Brendan O’Connor MP, said widespread skill shortages pose one of the greatest economic challenges in decades.

“Wherever you look, there are skills gaps, with the latest analysis showing 47 per cent of trade and technician occupations are in shortage, up from 42 per cent in 2021,” Minister O’Connor said.

“Providing targeted support to increase the uptake and completion of apprenticeships in critical sectors is essential to plugging the skills gaps we face.

“The expanded list will benefit occupations and industries like Electronic Equipment Trades Workers, Screen Printers, Swimming Coaches, Shearers, Veterinary Nurses and Travel Consultants.”

The updated Priority List is based on independent analysis from Jobs and Skills Australia, through the annual release of the Skills Priority List.

"Apprentice completion rates have been steadily declining over the past decade and we must arrest that decline to provide meaningful career pathways and jobs where industry needs them," Minister O'Connor said.

"Of all the apprentices and trainees that commenced training in 2017, the latest available figures show just 55.7% reached completion.

"Targeting areas with current and emerging skills demand will ensure apprentices have secure employment for years to come and ultimately fill urgently needed skills vacancies.”

Find information on apprenticeships and the 2023 Australian Apprenticeships Priority List via DEWR.