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Release Date: 18/06/2018
The NSW and Hunter Business Chambers have welcomed the Premiers announcement that tomorrow’s Budget will feature a package that provides for a very large number of free apprenticeships over the next four years across a range of skill specifications.
“This is an important announcement – not just for those looking at starting an apprenticeship, but for business owners across the State who are keen to take on more staff,” said NSW Business Chamber Chief Executive Stephen Cartwright.
“From July, apprentices can undertake their training free of charge, and there’s no requirement for them to have to fork out for an upfront fee, nor for their employer to reimburse them for their studies,” Mr Cartwright said.
“The Government has made it as easy as possible for students to take up this offer, it won’t be limited simply to TAFE, but also offered through other Registered Training Organisations (RTO’s). The Hunter Business Chamber has also expressed strong support for the government’s move. “If they get the detail right, this is a potential game changer” said Hunter Business Chamber CEO, Bob Hawes.
“The skills gap is especially prevalent in regional NSW where not only our quarterly Business Conditions Surveys tell us that the inability to find workers with the skills needed for the vacant jobs is the number two issue for business owners but anecdotally, the cost of apprenticeships is expressed as a major barrier for business to commit to apprenticeships” Mr Hawes said.
“Getting young Australians into an apprenticeship and building a quality workforce is fundamental to future economic and social prosperity, and a mission that the business community in NSW and the Hunter will support to help close the skills shortage gap,” Mr Hawes said.
“When you add this announcement to the commitment of 20% of trade positions on NSW Government infrastructure projects will go to Apprentices, we’re confident this will improve the pipeline and pathway by making the economic and financial decision easier for both business and candidates to engage and pursue apprenticeships” Mr Hawes added.

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