Labor's hand-up for apprentices


A Foley Labor Government will provide up to $500 in tool and clothing allowances as well as half price registrations for apprentices to help ease cost of living pressures.

Apprentices are at the core of our trade workforce, which is why Labor wants to see more young people starting and completing apprenticeships. We should be making life easier for apprentices, not harder.

Unfortunately the Baird Liberal Government has hit apprentices with higher TAFE course fees, while the Abbott Government in Canberra has axed the allowance that helped apprentices and tradies buy tools.

Labor’s plan to give our apprentices a helping hand includes:

  1. Establishing the NSW Tools for Your Trade program – providing up to $500 in tools and clothing allowances for every apprentice tradie
  2. Halving the cost of car rego – saving apprentices up to $250
  3. Requiring apprenticeship ratios on NSW Government construction projects – 15 per cent of work on NSW Government construction projects valued over $500,000 will be allocated for trainees, apprentices, Indigenous Australians and the long-term unemployed
  4. Reversing the Baird Government’s massive TAFE course fee hikes – reducing course costs for apprentices by up to $900

Luke Foley made the announcement today with Shadow Minister for Finance and Services Peter Primrose and Labor candidate for Prospect Hugh McDermott during a tour of Thermal Mechanical Services in Girraween.

Quotes attributable to Labor Leader Luke Foley:
“Helping young tradies with cost of living expenses is important.

“Labor’s extra financial support for apprentices will put more money in the pockets of more than 20,000 young tradies.

“Liberal Governments in Canberra and NSW have launched an attack on tradies and other young workers studying at TAFE.

“Labor’s policy ensures a fair go for tradies who are starting out in their chosen career.

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Finance and Services Peter Primrose:
“The Liberals’ massive TAFE fee hikes have put many courses out of reach for young people across the state.

“We need to invest in our vocational education and training system if we are to address the skills and jobs challenge of the future.

“Labor will harness the Government’s procurement power to create thousands of new jobs with new apprentice ratios on major construction projects.

“Thousands of jobs will be reserved for apprentices and trainees, providing invaluable experience to kick start a trade career.

Quotes attributable to Labor Candidate for Prospect Hugh McDermott:
“Labor understands the importance of supporting tradies in Western Sydney. This package will help tradies get jobs in this area, close to home.”

Key Facts

  • Labor’s Tools for Your Trade program will commence from 1 January 2016 and offer up to $500 in rebates for apprentices who complete their trade - $250 at the beginning and $250 at the completion of their training.
  • A Labor Government will invest $22.7 million to introduce the Tools for Your Trade program.
  • The Abbott Government dumped assistance for apprentices in its cruel and devastating Federal budget that cut $1 billion in assistance to apprentices nationwide.
  • NSW 1st and 2nd year apprentices are already eligible for a $100 discount on car registration. Labor will increase the rebate to cover half the actual cost of registration and expand the eligibility criteria to cover all apprentices.
  • Labor will introduce the expanded rego rebate from 1 January 2016.
  • Mike Baird’s massive TAFE course fee increases mean, for instance, that a Certificate III Hairdressing apprentice will now pay $2000, an increase of $988.
  • Backed by Labor’s $100 million TAFE Rescue Plan, a Labor Government will reverse the Baird Government’s TAFE fee hikes for apprentices, potentially saving apprentice up to $900.
  • Labor will require 15 per cent of work on NSW Government construction projects valued over $500,000 to be allocated for trainees, apprentices, Indigenous Australians and the long-term unemployed.

Read more about Labor's package to support apprentices.