THE Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce said 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.
Mr Joyce 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.
“All too often, young apprentices do not complete their training because they cannot afford the costs associated with undertaking an apprenticeship,” he said.
“These loans will ease the financial burden and help increase apprenticeship completion rates.”
Apprentices in the New England 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,” Mr Joyce said.
The loans will be 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. 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 Joyce 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.
For further information on the programme, contact your local Australian Apprenticeships Centre or visit www.australianapprenticeships.gov.au.