300,000 apprenticeships for rural and regional Australia

A new $1.5 billion Skilling Australians Fund announced in the Budget will give rural and regional Australia a jobs boost through the creation of 300,000 apprenticeships over the next four years. I welcome this move to reverse the dramatic decline in apprentice numbers, because vocational education and apprenticeships are vital in this region, and some of the identified growth industries to be prioritised are agriculture and tourism. And I welcome the fact that this is being funded by the abolition of the 457 Visa program, which will be replaced by a revised program which will require employers hiring temporary or permanent employer-sponsored foreign workers to pay a fee.

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