A workforce for now and for the future

More Australians are in work today than ever before. There are 1.9 million more people in work – including 1.1 million women – since the Government came to office. The unemployment rate is on a path to a 50-year low supported by our economic plan.

However, the strength and resilience of Australia’s labour market and economy – and the pause in migration – has accentuated workforce shortages.

The Government is investing in measures to expand and upskill the workforce to secure the workers we need now and for the future, helping Australians into more highly skilled and better paying jobs.

Skilled workers now and for the future

The Government is continuing to invest in Australian apprenticeships to ensure businesses have the skilled workforce they need

A regular pipeline of apprentices builds a highly skilled, more productive workforce allowing businesses to prosper. 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.

Pre 2020
A complex system of over 30 available incentive payments
October 2020
The Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements (BAC) wage subsidy is introduced as a temporary measure
May 2021
The BAC wage subsidy is extended in the 2021‑22 Budget
October 2021
The Completing Apprenticeship Commencements (CAC) wage subsidy is introduced
March 2022
The BAC and CAC wage subsidies are extended to 30 June 2022 to support the economic recovery
July 2022
Support for employers (wage subsides) and apprentices (training support payments) to transition from BAC and CAC to the new priority focussed apprenticeships incentive system

New apprenticeships incentive system

The Government is introducing a new streamlined Australian Apprenticeships Incentive System, which will provide support to employers and apprentices.

More than one-quarter of Australian employers currently have an apprentice or trainee

Georgia is planning to work as an apprentice arborist and will have a starting salary of $45,000 per year. She will study a 2‑year long Certificate III in Arboriculture and will commence in July 2022. As arboriculture is an occupation on the Australian Apprenticeship Priority List, her employer will receive up to $9,000 in wage subsidies ($4,500 in the first year and $4,500 in the second year). In addition, the Government will pay Georgia $5,000 in Apprentice Training Support Payments ($1,250 every 6 months for 2 years) to help her with the cost of living while she trains. Georgia is also guaranteed an In-Training Support place and is eligible for up to $15,246 in Australian Apprentice Support Loans.

Maximising opportunity

Positioning Australia to meet workforce challenges and capitalise on opportunities

Expanding the AgMove program and extending it for an additional six months to encourage workers to pursue seasonal agricultural jobs.

Creating a flexible and effcient single Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme with both seasonal and long-term options – the PALM scheme.

Funding the care and support sector to grow to meet the needs of people with disabilities, veterans and an ageing Australia.

Transforming how we deliver employment services with Workforce Australia, to better equip Australians for the future.

Establishing ReBoot, designed to build life and employability skills in 5,000 disadvantaged young Australians.

Making over 70 changes to migration and visa settings in response to COVID‑19 and to assist with economic recovery. These include specific visa validity extensions, removal of work restrictions and visa application charge waivers or refunds.

Jobs for the regions

Investing in regional manufacturing will create jobs and secure supply chains

The Government is transforming Australia's manufacturing sector through its $2.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy, which includes more than $1 billion of new investment in this Budget.

Of this, $500 million of funding will drive growth and innovation in our regional manufacturers through a new Regional Accelerator Stream of the Modern Manufacturing Initiative.

Over 30 per cent of Australia’s manufacturing workforce is currently employed in regional Australia and this funding injection will create even more high-quality jobs for regional workers.

Resilient supply chains are vital to our regional businesses and their customers. The Government is investing $200 million in a Regional Accelerator Stream of the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative to assist regional businesses to address supply chain vulnerabilities.

Creating job opportunities across traditional and emerging industries will help make regional Australia an even better place to work and live.

CQ Field Mining Services is a business based in Mackay, Queensland that helps build and maintain machinery used at mining and mineral processing sites. The company is using a $1.1 million grant from the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund to fit out their facilities with modern equipment to help expand their business, upskill their workforce and bring more jobs to regional Queensland.

Small business is the engine room of our economy

Helping small businesses do what they do best

Lower tax instalments to improve cash flows for 2.3 million taxpayers, including small businesses

The Government is committed to supporting small businesses so they can focus on doing what they do best — running their businesses, growing their businesses, and creating jobs for Australians.

Reducing the burden of red tape

The Government’s Deregulation Agenda is focussed on making it easier for Australians to grow and run their businesses. It is expected to generate, when fully implemented, deregulation benefits in excess of $21.0 billion over 10 years.

A continued focus on streamlining business interactions with government remains a key priority. A range of new measures will be introduced this Budget to reduce compliance costs, streamline reporting requirements and improve cash flow for small and medium business.

The ATO will work closely with accounting software developers to harness technology to:

Automate reporting requirements
Reduce costs and improve processing times
Align instalment payment obligations with real time intelligence on financial performance
Improve cash flows

Tailored support for small businesses

The Government is committed to helping small businesses navigate their workplace obligations. A $5.6 million investment into a dedicated small business unit in the Fair Work Commission will provide tailored support to small businesses and reduce time, cost and stress. The Government is also providing $8 million to the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman to work with service providers to offer business planning, capacity building and financial literacy.

Lower taxes

Tax relief for small businesses means they have more money to take on an extra worker, offer an extra shift or buy a new piece of equipment.

The Government will deliver more than $21 billion in tax cuts to small businesses from 2015‑16 to 2024‑25, with around $2.6 billion flowing in 2022‑23. This includes reducing the company tax rate for small businesses from 30 per cent in 2013-14 to 25 per cent from 1 July 2021, the lowest level in 50 years.

Technology Investment Boost

The Government is providing $1.0 billion for a new Technology Investment Boost to encourage small businesses to go digital. Small businesses with annual turnover less than $50 million will be able to deduct a bonus 20 per cent of the cost of expenses and depreciating assets that support digital uptake. This includes portable payment devices, cyber security systems or subscriptions to cloud-based services. The boost will apply to eligible expenditure of up to $100,000 per year, incurred from Budget night until 30 June 2023.

Skills and Training Boost

Small businesses will also have access to a new 20 per cent 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.

Richard owns a plumbing company, Parrot Pipes Pty Ltd, which has 100 employees and annual turnover of $40 million. In May 2022, Parrot Pipes purchases laptops for 50 employees, costing $90,000. It builds on this investment in 2022-23 by creating a new website, at a cost of $20,000. In 2023-24, Parrot Pipes organises a series of external training courses for employees, costing $200,000. Under the Government's new Technology Investment Boost and Skills and Training Boost, over the period, Parrot Pipes can deduct an extra $62,000, reducing its tax bill by $15,500. This is extra money that Parrot Pipes can reinvest in and grow the business.