A local publican has backed an announced $1.6 billion tax break for small businesses that invest in upskilling employees but said more information was needed to know how effective it would be in the Pilbara. The Federal Budget revealed some $550 million would be pumped into skills and training with the aim of encouraging small businesses to train new staff and upskill existing employees. It would mean small businesses will be able to claim a bonus 20 per cent deduction for the cost of external training courses delivered to employees in Australia or online, by providers registered in Australia, and will apply on eligible expenditure until June 2024. North West Brewing Co. owner Dan Scott said while he thought the news would incentivise businesses to take-on trainees, he was worried it may not help in the Pilbara. “We need more detail. First to determine whether 20 per cent reduction is going to be something that would incentivise us or our staff to get more training and know what training courses it attaches itself to,” he said. “The hospitality industry is very transient, particularly in our region, a lot of people are just getting a job and not necessarily looking to make a career out of it. Mr Scott said if staff were looking for an opportunity to grow within the hospitality industry it would help. “It would help us to employ those people through a training program at a cheaper cost. But the number of those people, particularly in our region, is limited,” he said. Meanwhile, $1b has been allocated to reduce the costs to small businesses of going digital by supporting them to invest more in digital capability. Small businesses with an aggregated annual turnover of less than $50m, will be able to deduct a bonus 20 per cent of the cost of business expenses and depreciating assets that support digital uptake, up to $100,000 a year.