Back to Work program sees success in Mackay

Manufacturing businesses in Queensland are utilising the state government’s Back to Work program to grow their workforces, according to a press statement from the Queensland state government.

On Tuesday, June 18, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Member for Mackay Julieanna Gilbert, went to Mackay where they met employees from Kynaston Engineering.

Based in the industrial suburb of Paget, Kynaston Engineering has utilised the Back to Work program to employ local apprentices since 2017.

This year, Kynaston Engineering’s owner, Robbie Young, has employed three young people, including two apprentices.

“It’s great to see local businesses like Kynaston have been able to create job opportunities through the Palaszczuk Government’s Back to Work program for locals,” said Gilbert.

The Queensland state government has further incentivised businesses to employ more people by increasing the payroll tax threshold to $1.3 million from July 1 this year. The tax breaks for regional businesses go further, as those that employ more than 85 people will receive an additional payroll tax discount of one per cent.

In addition, the press report stated that the Queensland government is extending the 50 per cent rebate for eligible apprentice and trainee wages until 2021.

These measures, taken as a whole, are said to provide ways for manufacturing businesses to provide on-the-job training to support youth who require skills and education to become part of the workforce. Alongside funding for VET and TAFE providers, the budget initiatives from the Queensland state government attempt to address the skills shortage in manufacturing and provide pathways to higher employment, particularly for young people, in regional areas.