TRAINING RELIEF FOR BUSHFIRE AND DROUGHT-AFFECTED APPRENTICES

Friday, 28 February 2020

NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has today announced the State Government will provide full fee relief for local apprentices who have been put off from work due to the impacts of bushfires and drought.

Mr Marshall said that from today apprentices in bushfire and drought-affected areas, including all the Northern Tablelands, whose employers were unable to keep them on, will still be able to access the training component of their apprenticeships for up to 12 months for free.

“This announcement will come as a huge relief to apprentices from Moree to Armidale who have lost their jobs in the aftermath of natural disaster and through no fault of their own,” Mr Marshall said.

“With bushfire and the ongoing drought placing pressure on local business operators, many employers have had to shed jobs to keep their doors open and sadly this has come at a cost to hard-working apprentices.

“This initiative means over the next year apprentices can continue with their training free of charge, easing financial pressure as they look for alternate work.

“We have to remain optimistic that in the not too distant future the drought will break and when it does there will once again be a high demand for tradespeople who are trained and ready to rebuild thriving local economies.”

Mr Marshall said the last thing rural communities needed now was an exodus of young people to the city.

“In the bush it’s commonly recognised we have bad economic times and we have good times, and when those good times roll around we need the best and brightest ready to capitalise on them,” he said.

“I urge apprentices who might be experiencing a lack of work at the moment to contact Training Services NSW and discuss their options, before leaving town and looking for work elsewhere.

“This scheme is about planning ahead because the loss of an apprentice builder today is really the loss of a licenced builder in four years time.”

This initiative is uncapped and will apply to as many apprentices as needed. Training Services NSW will work with apprentices in drought and bushfire-affected areas to support them with ongoing training and help connect them to potential employers. For more information, call Training Services NSW on 13 28 11.

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