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Extension Of 'Apprentice Subsidy' A Win For Business

“The extension of the Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy is in line with strong recommendations we made in our 'Skilling Australia for a better future: Supporting apprenticeships through COVID-19 report' released last week,” said Business NSW Regional Manager Kellon Beard.

“Businesses will be heartened by the ongoing support for apprentices beyond 30 September, which was looming large as an economic cliff,” Mr Beard said.

“On the down side, it is disappointing that there has been no announced increase in support for those wanting to commence an apprenticeship. However, we remain hopeful that there will be additional announcements down the track to support employers who want to take on new starters.

“The nation is still at risk of significant skills shortages in 3-4 years’ time without new starters coming on board. But the Government has shown it is serious about taking steps to address this issue now, and we commend them for it.

“As part of the JobTrainer package, the National Skills Commission will need to ensure that the short courses being offered support people into employment or at least dramatically increase their chances of employment.

“At the top of Business NSW’s agenda has been the availability of proper funding to train people for the jobs of the future and to close the skills gap. We look forward to working with Governments of all levels to identify the types of short courses needed,” Mr Beard said.

About Business NSW

Formerly the NSW Business Chamber, Business NSW is the peak policy and advocacy body which has been representing businesses in NSW since 1826.

KELLON BEARD

Regional Manager, Mid North Coast


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The 'Silver lining' to 2020's pandemic for many people was the ability to take a step back from the rat race and work from home - But that's starting to change now as the Office beckons.

'Back To Work' (At The Office) Blues ?

Some thoughts on how to manage 'Back-to-work anxiety' after working from home through the Virus pandemic.

The silver lining to 2020's pandemic for many people was the opportunity to take a step back from the rat race and work from home.

But with the economy whirring back into gear and staff being asked to come back into the workplace, return-to-work anxiety is a very real phenomenon.

"It was like starting a new job again and I didn't like that because I really became used to having the autonomy of doing what I had to do on my own, and not having to perform in front of others," says Lucy.

She had only just started her job in March and had barely met her colleagues when, like tens of thousands of Australians, she was directed to work from home as the Virus started spreading across the country.

Fortunately Lucy found herself enjoying her new working conditions, finding a balance between work and life, and managing to increase her output due to a lack of "open-plan office place distractions".

"I was also concerned about catching public transport when we came back, and I wasn't really trusting how well other people returning to the office were practising safe hygiene and doing the right thing by continuously sanitising and things like that," she says.

Being concerned is common:

Beyond Blue lead clinical adviser and GP Grant Blashki says such fears are a "common phenomenon" among his patients.

"On one hand, people are excited and relieved, but then many have trepidation with a mix of concerns," Dr Blashki says.

"Some are concerned about infection, particularly if they are older or have a disability; some have pre-existing social anxiety and have lost their social stamina to interact with people.

"But I differentiate between people who have more serious social anxiety issues, and those who have lost their mojo and are getting ready to adjust.

"Because for some, there's been that silver lining story, when they've enjoyed the time at home and getting out of the rat race with more time for reflection and families, and now they're having to get back on the train."

Anticipation is likely worse than reality:

Psychiatrist, doctor and Australian Medical Association SA vice president Michelle Atchison says some people may be "very keen to get back into the workplace", while others may feel angry about it.

She says COVID pushed "touch points of anxiety" for a lot of people around their work and daily lives, with mental health presentations across the country increasing by about 30%.

"People got the message that staying away from crowded places is what we needed to do so we did not get COVID, get very sick or die," Dr Atchison says.

"Then they say 'OK, you have to come back to work and be around people', so of course it's something that makes people feel anxious."

Story By | Malcolm Sutton

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