July – Federal Budget impacts apprentices

A number of programs impacting the group training network were abolished in the Federal Budget, with further reforms to be rolled out in coming months.

One of the biggest casualties in the Budget was the Tools for Your Trade program, which provided a series of cash payments over the course of an apprenticeship, totaling up to $5,500 to assist with the cost of training and the purchase of tools. It ceased on July 1.

In its place the government plans to introduce the $1.9 billion Trade Support Loans program, which will enable apprentices to take out a loan to fund the purchase of tools and other elements of their training.

The scheme will provide a loan of a maximum of $20,000 over the course of an apprenticeship, which will be interest free but indexed to consumer prices, and subject to a 20 per cent discount on completion of training.

Apprentices can receive up to $8,000 in the first year, $6,000 in the second year, $4,000 in the third year and $2,000 in the fourth year. The loans will not be re-paid until an apprentice starts to earn around $50,000 a year.

Fing more information on the Trade Support Loans program here .

(Article provided by Group Training Australia)