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Government support for apprentices

Qualified trades are in demand and, from electricians to plumbers, labourers to builders, there are a number of employment and apprenticeship opportunities waiting for people who seek to learn a trade. The Government has recently announced a review of the apprenticeship system, with a view to responding to the needs of employers and the economy, and to more effectively support apprentices.

Last month, Assistant Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham, said the Government was investing around $6bn this year to support people undertaking vocational education and training (VET), including more than 300,000 apprentices.

“One of our key initiatives is supporting apprentices with the costs of living through Trade Support Loans,” Senator Birmingham said.

“Trade Support Loans provide eligible apprentices with up to $20,000 to cover the costs of living” Senator Birmingham added.

Employers will also benefit by being able to seek assistance from the new Apprenticeship Support Network, which will provide help, particularly to small business employers, to recruit and retain apprentices.  The Government will also provide financial support to almost 80,000 employers to help with the costs of employing an apprentice.

TAFE New England has been delivering apprentice training across the region for more than 30 years. Manager of Educational Capabilities, Noel Woodbury, said “Smart businesses continue to recognise that training their own apprentices is an effective and affordable way of bringing on new staff, and instilling the values and practices of a business in employees early on”.

“TAFE New England works hard to ensure students are quickly achieving practical skills they can use to make a real contribution in the workplace” Mr Woodbury added.