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Financial support for hiring apprentices now in play following AFTA policy win

The travel industry body has successfully lobbied for government support to help rebuild the travel workforce. But how does the scheme work?

Travel agent is now listed as an eligible job title on the Priority List.

Businesses across the travel industry spectrum can now access financial support from the Australian Government after ‘Travel Consultant’ was added to the list of eligible job titles under the Employer Incentive Support program.

The move was engineered after extensive lobbying by the Australian Federation of Travel Agents’ (AFTA) National Taskforce for Skills and Careers in response to the longstanding workforce shortages affecting the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors.

The Taskforce has been working to develop policy documents which were submitted to Federal Minister for Skills and Training, Brendan O’Connor, Minister for Trade and Tourism, Don Farrell, and Minister for Immigration, Andrew Giles.

Travel businesses can access funding support to recruit an emerging apprentice.

The Australian Apprenticeships Incentive Program took effect in July last year and aims to address the skills shortage and fill gaps across the workforce by helping apprentices secure jobs that are in demand.

Under the program’s Priority Wage Subsidy, employers can claim 10% of wages paid to the apprentice for the first two years, up to AU$1,500 per quarter, and 5% of wages in the third year, if applicable, up to AU$750 per quarter.

Qualifications now eligible under the revised Priority List include:

  • Certificate III in Tourism, Certificate III in Travel
  • Certificate III in Travel
  • Diploma of Travel and Tourism Management
  • Certificate IV in Travel and Tourism
  • Advanced Diploma of Travel and Tourism Management

More information about the Employer Incentive Scheme can be found here.

AFTA CEO, Dean Long.

AFTA Chief Executive Dean Long said he greatly appreciated the support from the various departments and the acknowledgement of the important role of travel professionals.

“We look forward to continuing to drive change on behalf of our members and travel, given the ongoing massive challenge faced across the board as a result of the chronic workforce and skills shortages,” Long said.

“Many of our National Taskforce Members who have helped us achieve this win have already highlighted the importance of ensuring alignment across the country for funding and this will be firmly in our sights.”

AFTA will now write to State Premiers and Territory Chief Ministers to ensure funding is allocated to support apprenticeships covered under the program.


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Written by: Matt Lennon
Published: 8 February 2023

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