All apprentices in Australian can now claim back expenses

by Ray Clancy on January 6, 2015

in Jobs in Australia

Australia’s apprenticeship scheme has become more attractive, with new rules allowing young people to be reimbursed for outgoing expenses.

This means that studying a trade has become less financially onerous for the 60,000 apprentices in the country, who can now claim back the cost of course fees, text books and travel and accommodation costs if they have to travel for training.

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The plan will help boost the number of apprentices who finish their training and go on to enter the workforce

According to Ged Kearney, president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), it will help boost the number of apprentices who finish their training and go on to enter the workforce.

There has been concern about the number of apprenticeships that are not concluded. For example, only 47% of apprentices who started their training in 2009 went on to finish their apprenticeship and low wages and extra training costs were considered a burden.

“Ensuring all apprentices can be reimbursed for their training costs will make it easier for thousands of young Australians to finish their trade and get a job,” said Kearney.

Unions first won these conditions in 2013 for construction, manufacturing and electrical apprentices, which includes about 70% and it now applied to all apprenticeships.

Kearney said the win will benefit about 62,000 apprentices currently in training, who were not previously covered and includes apprentices such as hairdressers, beauty therapists and chefs, who can now also be reimbursed for their study costs.

“The apprenticeship system plays a vital role in ensuring the current and future supply of skilled workers to meet the needs of industry and wider economy. It’s also critical in providing access to well-paid, highly skilled jobs for young, as well as older people,” Kearney explained.

However, it is not all good news. The government recently cut $914 million dollars from support programmes for apprentices in the Federal Budget and introduced a loan scheme that will saddle apprentices with thousands of dollars in debt, according to the ACTU.

A further $66 million cut in support for adult apprentices has also been announced and a $43 million cut from the Skills for Education and Employment programme which is aimed at providing jobseekers with basic skills to help get and retain a job.

 

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