The Abbot Coalition Government is building a stronger economy by supporting apprentices to successfully complete their qualifications, according to Member for Robertson Ms Lucy Wicks.
Ms Wicks said the Government was delivering on its commitment in its Growth Plan for the Central Coast to introduce Trade Support Loans for apprentices to encourage more young people to take up a trade and complete their qualiﬁcation. “All too often, young apprentices do not complete their training because they cannot afford the costs associated with undertaking an apprenticeship,” Ms Wicks said.
“These loans will ease the ﬁnancial burden and help increase apprenticeship completion rates.“ Apprentices on the Central Coast 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,” Ms Wicks said. The Trade Support Loans will provide support of up $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,” said Ms Wicks.“ When an apprentice completes their training, 20% of the loan, or up to $4,000, will be immediately deducted from the total of their loan,” Ms Wicks said.
“Like HELP loans for tertiary students, the loans will be repayable once apprentices are earning a sustainable income.” The Trade Support Loans will speciﬁcally target occupations on the National Skills Needs List such as plumbers, diesel mechanics, electricians and ﬁtters. “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,” Ms Wicks said. “The Trade Support Loans programme replaces the Tools For Your Trade payment, which under Labor’s administration had become an unaccountable hand out that did little to help apprentices complete their training, because it was only given in the later years instead of when apprentices needed it most.
“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 providing an incentive to complete their course. “We want people who start a training programme to actually ﬁ nish 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 prosperous economy.” The Trade Support Loans programme will begin on July 1.
20 May 2014
Tim Sowden, ofﬁce of
Lucy Wicks MP