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The coalition's policy to support apprentices



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JOINT PRESS RELEASE

THE HON. TONY ABBOTT MHR, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION THE HON. SUSSAN LEY MHR, SHADOW MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT PARTICIPATION

THE COALITION’S POLICY TO SUPPORT APPRENTICES

If elected, a Coalition government will help apprentices to complete their training by providing interest-free Trade Support Loans of up to $20,000.

Australian apprenticeship completion rates are far too low - one in two apprentices do not complete their apprenticeship.

Australia’s future productivity and competitiveness depend on a skilled and trained workforce. This policy will help lift apprenticeship completion rates, build Australia’s skilled workforce and strengthen the economy.

Our Trade Support Loans will be repayable at the same thresholds as FEE-HELP loans for university students, so apprentices do not have to repay any money until they are earning a sustainable income.

Apprentices who successfully complete their apprenticeships will receive an immediate 20 per cent discount on their Trade Support Loans.

All too often, young apprentices do not complete their training because they cannot afford the costs associated with undertaking an apprenticeship.

The Trade Support Loans will specifically target occupations on the National Skills Needs List such as plumbers, diesel mechanics, electricians and fitters.

The loans will be spread over the four years of an apprenticeship, diminishing as wages increase so that maximum support is provided in the initial years when most needed.

This capped amount of $20,000 will be split into yearly amounts of $8,000 (first year), $6,000 (second year), $4,000 (third year) and $2,000 (fourth year).

Our loans scheme will provide real support for current apprentices to complete their skills training and provide a stronger incentive for young Australians to become apprentices.

Providing better support to apprentices is part of our Real Solutions Plan to build a stronger Australia and a better future for all Australians.

25 August 2013