Business groups have given the Morrison government's $1.2 billion apprenticeship package the thumbs up, the latest initiative in a barrage of announcements over the past week heading into Tuesday's budget.
But Labor said while welcome, it doesn't make up for 140,000 apprenticeship positions that have been lost since the coalition came to power.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told Channel Nine the plan tops up the $2.8 billion already invested in skills and this further injection will help create 100,000 apprenticeships.
"Whether you are a baker or butcher, whether you are a sparkie, plumber or carpenter you are getting support from the Morrison Government," Mr Frydenberg said.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann explained the new package will from Monday, and over the next year, pay half the wages of a new apprentice taken on by a business.
"This is something we hope will help boost the number of new apprentices in the economy at a very important time," he told the Sky News' Sunday Agenda program.
Employment Minister Michaelia Cash said the package was not just aimed at trades, but also hospitality, tourism, aged care, arts and graphic design and is open to any business of any size.
Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO James Pearson said the new subsidy should go a long way to turning around the concerning long-term decline in apprenticeship numbers.
"This is the right prescription to restore the health of the apprenticeship system," Mr Pearson said.
Master Builders Australia CEO Denita Wawn also said young people and building and construction businesses will be "big winners".
"This $1.2 billion investment by the government is undoubtedly good news but its effectiveness will be blunted without further stimulus to support and activate demand for building and construction services," she said.
But shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers said while any support for apprenticeships and trainees is welcome, this new initiative does not make up for the 140,000 fewer apprentices seen over the life of this government.
"The government has a lot of form in announcing big numbers, chasing big headlines and then not following through," Dr Chalmers told ABC television's Insiders program.
The government has announced billions of dollars of spending on energy, manufacturing, the digital economy and tourism over the past week, and economists expect the budget deficit could blow out to over $200 billion.
"Obviously the deficit will be very significant and the debt burden will increase," Mr Frydenberg later told ABC television.
"But this is the price of protecting lives and livelihoods. The Australian economy has faced its biggest economic shock in more than 100 years."
Mr Frydenberg again indicated that his second budget will include the bringing forward of already legislated tax cuts.
"We also believe more people having more money in their pockets right now will help economic activity across the economy. More spending will mean more jobs," he said.
Health Minister Greg Hunter said the budget will also announce Australians with liver cancer, myopia and Parkinson's disease will have new treatment options under amended Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme listings.