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Up for grabs: Learn a trade for free

extract from Article Daily Telegraph Monday 18 June 2018.

APPRENTICESHIPS will be free in NSW under a Budget cash splash that will boost the number of training spots for the state’s future tradies.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal one of the biggest Budget commitments will be the free training program to offer 100,000 people skills study at any TAFE and non-TAFE provider delivering apprenticeship studies.

The Budget sets aside $285 million for the project.

matthew Giusa

Matthew Giusa, with his dog Ellie, wants to become an auto-mechanic. Picture: Justin Lloyd

The program is designed to relieve financial pressure on apprentices and ensure a strong pipeline of skilled workers for large-scale infrastructure projects.
The government believes it will also support businesses who pay for apprentices’ training.

The Daily Telegraph revealed earlier this month the state government will also set a trade target that 20 per cent of employees on government construction sites would be apprentices.

“We have already created positions for apprentices … and now we are covering the cost of training,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said there were already about 60,000 apprentices in NSW but more would be needed.

“As of 1 July anyone who signs up for an apprenticeship in NSW will not pay a single cent.”
Mr Barilaro said he was a “chippie from Queanbeyan” and was passionate about the issue. Many tradies view the cost of apprenticeships as a disincentive, he said.
“Even when you compare it to a university HECS debt, it is marginal but it is a disincentive,” Mr Barilaro said.

“In my mind, if you really want to encourage apprentices for a government … just get rid of that disincentive which is the $2000 or $3000 contribution. I honestly believe this will move the lever completely.”

Jonathon Paraskevaidis & Ryan Simpson

Students Jonathan Paraskevaidis and Ryan Simpson study construction pathways. Picture: Damian Shaw

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The state Nationals leader said he was keen to do more to get young students interested in apprenticeships in early high school — an idea he picked up from Germany.
Mr Barilaro said the state’s biggest shortfall in apprenticeships was in building and construction, followed by trades including plumbers and electricians.
Makayla White is interested in doing a vocational course in nursing and believes the program will encourage more people into apprenticeships. Picture: Justin Lloyd

“They’re the key areas of traditional trade we’ve got a massive skill shortage, high demand and that’s only going to continue to grow.”

Makayla White

Makayla White is interested in doing a vocational course in nursing and believes the program will encourage more people into apprenticeships. Picture: Justin Lloyd

“They’re the key areas of traditional trade we’ve got a massive skill shortage, high demand and that’s only going to continue to grow.”

Makayla White, 17, a Certificate III Nursing student at Southern Cross Catholic Vocational College, believes the program will encourage more people into apprenticeships.
“This will open it up for more people,” she said. “Kids will be able to do what they want to be doing.”

Construction student Matthew Giusa, 18, said a free apprenticeship would make all the difference. “The two biggest struggles for me have been having to fund myself and being able to afford the tools, equipment and study. So any financial help is a great idea,” he said.

TOP APPRENTICESHIP COURSES IN NSW
1. Electrotechnology — Electrician Cert III (9054 apprentices)
2. Carpentry Cert III (8845)
3. Plumbing Cert III (5375)
4. Automotive — Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology Cert III (3974)
5. Hospitality — Commercial Cookery Cert III (2397)