The Abbott Coalition Government is building a stronger economy by supporting apprentices to successfully complete their qualification.
The legislation for Trade Support Loans has been passed by the Parliament, allowing loans of up to $20,000 over the four years of an apprenticeship.
Member for Bonner, Ross Vasta said the Government is delivering on its commitment to introduce Trade Support Loans for apprentices to encourage more young people to take up a trade and complete their qualification.
“Young apprentices are too often unable to complete their training because they can’t afford the costs associated with undertaking an apprenticeship,” Mr Vasta said.
“These loans will ease the financial burden and help increase apprenticeship completion rates.”
Apprentices in the Bonner electorate will have access to $20,000 over the entire period of their training, with more support provided during the initial years when it is needed most.
The Trade Support Loans will provide support of up to $8,000 in the first year of the apprenticeship, $6,000 in the second, $4,000 in the third, and $2,000 in the fourth.
“Apprentices who successfully complete their training will be rewarded. When an apprentice completes their training, 20 per cent of the loan, or up to $4000, will be immediately deducted from the total of their loan,” Mr Vasta said.
“Like HELP loans for tertiary students, the loans will be repayable once apprentices are earning a sustainable income.”
Trade Support Loans will specifically target occupations on the National Skills Needs List such as plumbers, diesel mechanics, electricians, and fitters, as well as priority areas in horticulture and agriculture.
“These loans will provide real support for current apprentices to complete their skills training, and provide a stronger incentive for young Australians to become apprentices,” Mr Vasta said.
“Trade Support Loans will help more apprentices finish their training and get straight out into the workforce, by providing support across the entire period of their apprenticeship, and by providing an incentive to complete their course.”
“We want people who start a training programme to actually finish it – and realise the opportunity of working in their chosen field.”
“The new Trade Support Loans are part of the Government’s Economic Action Strategy to build a strong and prosperous economy.”
For further information on the programme, contact your local Australian Apprenticeships Centre or visit www.australianapprenticeships.gov.au.