Boost for apprentices, older workers

THE Federal Government is offering young people an incentive to help them study a trade as well offering businesses a $10,000 bonus to employ workers over 50-years-old.

Federal minister Julie Bishop and Member for Eden-Monaro Peter Hendy visited local business Server Racks Australia to promote the incentives which were flagged in the Federal Budget.

"We want to support more young people having the opportunity to undertake an apprenticeship and conclude an apprenticeship," Ms Bishop said.

"We have introduced what are called 'Trade Support Loans', up to $20,000 for young people who want to take up a trade, apprenticeship and need that support from the government…upon completion from their apprenticeship, 20 per cent of that is immediately deducted."

The $10,000 boost for businesses who employ workers over 50-years-old and have been unemployed for six months, would be staggered and delivered over a two year period, Ms Bishop said.

Service Racks Australia general manager Simon Dunphy said he welcomed the announcement. He said the business regularly employs apprentices; currently they have four on staff.

"Great announcement. We always need assistance, our policy has always been to employ young people and try to give back to the local area. The government is continuing to support that and we welcome that," he said.

"We're also very happy with the [$10,000 incentive to employ older workers], I would say about 20 per cent of our employees are probably over 50."

Server Racks Australia employs 52 people and has been operating in Queanbeyan for the last 29 years. Originally making metal products for local electrical manufacturers, they began creating steel server racks since 2000.

Owner Bob Campbell said there are only about three or four business specialising in the same product nationwide.

He estimates they make about 4000 racks per year for government departments and large corporations.

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