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SYDNEY - The Australian federal government is finalising a new jobs and training package, including a plan to subsidise apprentice wages by up to a third.

The package, part of the government's bid to stave off a recession, could be released next week, The Daily Telegraph reported today.

Sources told the Telegraph the federal government could pay around a third of the wage of an apprentice who was facing the sack, or being made redundant, with an expected cost of at least A$1 billion ($1.27 billion).

School and university leavers would also be offered help to find work as part of the package.