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One in two apprentices in Australia do not complete their training.

This means apart from people not learning a trade, the nation’s future productivity and competitiveness suffers.

The Nationals Senator for New South Wales John Williams has welcomed a Coalition commitment to introduce the Trade Support Loans scheme.

Senator Williams said in government the Coalition will provide interest-free loans of up to $20,000, including $8,000 in the first year, up to $6,000 in the second year, up to $4,000 in the third and up to $2,000 in the fourth.

“Apprentices who successfully complete their apprenticeships will receive an immediate 20 percent discount.

Trade Support Loans will be repayable at the same thresholds as FEE-HELP loans for university students, so apprentices do not have to repay any money until they are earning a sustainable income.

Australia badly needs more plumbers, diesel mechanics, electricians, fitters and others that are identified on the National Skills Needs List. 

The Coalition fully understands the cost pressures placed on young people and their parents when they undertake an apprenticeship, and no doubt many drop out because of the high costs of tools and equipment, and generally low wages.

The Trade Support Loans will assist them to complete their apprenticeship which is good for them and Australia’s future”, Senator Williams said.

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