News Article

Unlocking success in navigating the Federal Budget as a small business owner

20 May 2024

Treasurer Jim Chalmers’ third federal budget, under the Government’s Future Made in Australia package was unveiled, and small business owners have a lot to take in. 

Loaded with measures to support different areas of small business, from apprenticeships, training and tax benefits, to work health and safety, the budget holds promises and prospects for businesses of all sizes. Let's delve into the details and unpack the implications for you, the small business owner, and your employees.

Investing in employment and skills

One of the standout features of the budget is the substantial investment in the Australian Apprenticeships Incentive System. With $265.1 million earmarked over four years, small businesses are presented with a significant opportunity to nurture the future workforce. 

Enhanced subsidies for both employers and apprentices in priority areas not only make apprenticeship programs more accessible but also inject fresh talent into small businesses. Embracing apprenticeships not only addresses skill shortages, but also infuses innovation, fresh perspectives and diversity into the workforce, ensuring long-term sustainability and growth.

Seizing opportunities in clean energy trades

As we continue our transition towards cleaner energy, small electrical businesses are leading the way in this change. With substantial funding allocated to promote clean energy trades, there are a suite of opportunities for business owners in the electrotechnology industry to tap into a growing market. 

Significant funding has also been allocated to promote clean energy trades among school leavers, aiming to cultivate a more diverse workforce in the electrical industry. This strategic move not only addresses the pressing need to meet Australia's clean energy targets for 2030 and 2050, but also acknowledges the substantial shortfall of 32,000 electricians projected by 2030. 

The Federal Government’s commitment to diversifying the electrical workforce, particularly by encouraging more women to join the industry, not only fosters inclusivity but also addresses the pressing need for skilled workers. 

Opportunities for electrotechnology industry

The Federal Budget's significant investment in infrastructure and housing supply is a game-changer for the electrotechnology industry. With $1 billion earmarked for trunk infrastructure and $16.5 billion for new and existing projects, there will be a surge in demand for skilled electrical workers to support these developments. 

Additionally, $1.9 billion in loans for constructing 40,000 social and affordable housing units means more opportunities for electricians and apprentices. 

Empowering women in male-dominated industries

Addressing gender disparity in male-dominated sectors remains a cornerstone of the budget's agenda. With women making up two percent of the electrical workforce, The Building Women’s Career Programs will support women into flexible, safe and inclusive work and training opportunities and drive structural and cultural change across male dominated industries. 

Through targeted investments totalling $55.6 million over four years and $38.2 million over eight years to attract women to careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), the Federal Government aims to break down barriers hindering women's participation in fields like clean energy, construction, and manufacturing. 

By fostering cultural change and providing greater flexibility and support for women in these industries, small businesses can tap into a diverse talent pool, driving innovation and productivity.

Prioritising work health and safety

For small business owners, ensuring the well-being of both themselves, and their employees is paramount. The budget's focus on mental health support through initiatives like the 'New Access for Small Business Owners' Program and extending the small business debt helpline, with an investment of a further $10.8 million, underscores the government's commitment to addressing holistic workplace health. 

Additionally, a $500,000 commitment for the introduction of the Right to Disconnect legislation heralds a new era of work-life balance, by ensuring employees are not required to engage in work-related communications outside of their normal working hours. By adopting these initiatives, small businesses can create a supportive workplace that helps productivity and growth.

Paid parental leave

The Federal Budget has also unveiled measures to enhance the Paid Parental Leave (PPL) scheme with a focus on streamlining administrative processes and ensuring accessibility for small business owners. 

Maximising tax benefits and fuelling growth

The extension of the $20,000 instant asset write-off scheme emerges as a benefit for small businesses, offering a lifeline to improve cash flow and spur investment. 

With the deadline extended until June 2025, small business owners have additional time to capitalise on this tax incentive, investing in assets that propel growth and innovation.

Business Solutions Hub is ready to support businesses to understand the impact of the Budget initiatives and any changes that may impact your business from employee entitlements, developing workplace policies to keeping your business compliant, hiring apprentices to build your workforce and strategies to foster an inclusive workplace.

Reach out to us today to explore how we can tailor our services to meet your business needs.

Call Business Solutions Hub on 1300 445 687.

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