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Deferment of national service call-up of apprentices and students

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For release 9 p.m. Sunday, September 12th, 1965

(Statement by the Hon. William McMahon, M.P. , Minister for Labour and National Service)


The Minister for Labour and National Service, Mr. McMahon,

announced today the principles which will gov'ern the deferment of

call-up of apprentices and students liable to perform national

service. He said that these principles were based on the proposi­

tions he had outlined in Parliament in introducing the National

Service legislation, viz,, that the call-up of apprentices would

be deferred until they completed their indentures,that full-time

students would be deferred as a general rule at least until they

obtained their primary qualification, and that deferment of other

categories of students and trainees would be considered on the merits

of their individual cases.

Mr, McMahon said there could be no simple set of rules.

Apart from the great number and variety of courses and forms of

training that are undertaken by men of national service age, the

periods of study and training, and the stages reached by men, are

far from uniform. There are, as well, variations in practices as

between the States. Students sometimes undertake a combination of

courses. Part-time students, generally speaking, can make their

own pace. In not all cases are studies related to careers. Students

can not expect to have their deferment extended if they fail to be

diligent in their studies.

To develop principles which took account of all relevant

circumstances, said Mr. McMahon, his Department had had extensive

consultations with universities, technical colleges, education and


apprenticeship authorities, professional institutes and other

training bodies throughout Australia, "I would like to thank

all those concerned", Mr, McMahon said, "for their very ready co­

operation and most helpful advice. The close liaison that has been

established with them will be maintained." ·

The following, said Mr, McMahon, will be the main

principles -(a) Apprentices will be eligible for deferment until they

have attained tradesman status and others undertaking

recognised formal training analogous to apprenticeship

until they have completed that training.

(b) Those being trained by formal cadetships in commerce,

industry, the government services, or the professions,

articled law clerks, surveyors under pupilage and the

like, who are undertaking full-time or part-time study

in conjunction with their practical training will be

eligible for deferment until they have completed their

cadetship or have otherwise qualified for admittance to

practise in their intended professions. '

(c) Other trainees, for example, technicians-in-training qualify for entry to occupations through

planned training programmes involving attendance at train­

ing institutions or schools and passing examinations may

be eligible for deferment depending on the circumstances

of each case.

(d) Students completing their secondary education, either full t

time or part time, will be eligible for deferment to enable

them to sit for the examination in the year in which they


(e) Full-time students undertaking courses at universities, '

institutes of technology, technical, agricultural and

. pharmacy colleges and similar institutions, will be eligible

for deferment until the completion of their courses and,


as appropriate, for a further period varying with the

• circumstances to cover the attainment of practical

experience necessary for the conferring of a degree,

diploma or certificate or which the appropriate authority

regards as essential to qualify the student for his pro­

fession, This rule of eligibility for an extended period

of deferment varying with the circumstances will apply

also to those who are undertaking or have planned to

undertake combined or interpolated degree or diploma

courses, honours degree courses, or post-graduate courses

at the time of registration.

(NOTEs Full-time students include men taking in the

evening the same number of subjects as are normally

taken by full-time day students and men working part­

time to enable them to do a full course by day.)

(f) Student teachers will be eligible for deferment until

they complete their training and their first year of

teaching, if the education authority concerned regards

this teaching period as an essential part of their train­

ing. (Teachers will be called up, as far as practicable, .

in the first intake each year to avoid disruption of the

school year.)

The eligibility of part-time students for deferment and the

periods for which the'y will be deferred will, said Mr. McMahon,

be dependent upon the nature of the courses upon which they are

engaged, the stages reached in their studies, the periods still re­

quired to complete their courses, and the relevance of these

courses to their careers or advancement in their employment. In

considering the rules to apply in relation to part-time students,

regard has been paid to the opportunities open to them to continue

studying in the Army. Further discussions, said Mr, McMahon,

were proceeding between his Department, the Army and the relevant

"professional" bodies about this.


Part-time students taking degree, diploma or certificate

and like courses at universities, institutes of technology and

technical colleges and similar institutions will, provided the

courses are relevant to their careers or present employment, be

eligible for deferment to enable them to secure their qualifica­

tions, provided that the total period of deferment will not exceed

the period within which diligent students would normally qualify.,

Those taking individual subjects only at such institutions will

be eligible for deferment until completion of the current academic

year if the subjects are relevant to their careers or present


Those who are studying to be accountants, chartered secre­

taries, "auditors, actuaries, quantity surveyors etc. may be

eligible for deferment for the period which is required to enable

diligent students normally to qualify.

Part-time students taking individual subjects or courses

for general interest only and not relevant to their careers or adr·

vancement in their employment will not, as a general rule, be

eligible for deferment. However, those who are taking formal courses

or subjects who register in the second half of the year may be

eligible for deferment to allow them to complete the academic "year"

and those who are due to present themselves for examination within

six months of the date of registration may be eligible for deferment

to permit them to do so.

All deferments granted will be for no longer than twelve

months at a time and will be subject to regular review. Those who

fail a year or a number of subjects which they are not permitted to

carry over to the succeeding year or whose study or training is not

proceeding satisfactorily may have their deferment cancalled unless,

after consultation with the appropriate educational, training or

professional institution, the Registrar for National Service is

satisfied that there are special circumstances which warrant

continued deferment.


Mr. McMahon said.that it was inevitable that eligibility

for deferment would call for a careful examination of each case

by the Registrars for National Service. Registrants who had

indicated on registration that they were students and

apprentices would be individually contacted and advised of their

position. Anyone desiring detailed information about his own

particular position should contact the Registrar who is located

in the capital city of the State in which the man is registered.

The Registrars for New South Wales and South Australia are also

the Registrars for the Australian Capital Territory and the

Northern Territory respectively.