Apprentices undertaking their training in Dubbo are amongst those statewide that have taken advantage of the NSW government’s fee-free apprenticeship study package.
The scheme will allow 100,000 apprentices throughout NSW to study and train for a career and perhaps address the state’s skills shortages.
Joseph Collyer is completing a Certificate three in Carpentry and said there are a few advantages that stem from the fee-free study scheme.
“Because I don't have to pay for TAFE I can buy more tools for my trade,” he said.
“The state government got rid of our tool allowance, so in a way, this makes up for that.
“I am living in Mudgee at the moment, so I have to pay for accommodation in Dubbo, so now TAFE is free it is one less expense that I have to pay to complete my apprenticeship.”
Minister for TAFE Adam Marshall acknowledged the NSW government did take away the tool allowance but said fee-free apprenticeships will ensure students across NSW, particularly in the regions, can train for the job they want.
The federal government introduced an interest-free $20000 loan for apprentices which is a far more generous scheme than the tool allowance, so we focused on the fee-free apprenticeship because we felt both schemes complemented each other perfectly,” Mr Marshall said
“Across the state, we’re seeing more local students taking up the opportunity to get free apprenticeship training with TAFE NSW so they can get a job and help build the infrastructure of tomorrow.”
Member for Dubbo Troy Grant said fee-free apprenticeships benefit both students and employers.
“Under the fee-free apprenticeship program new apprentices can study for free, which gives tradies a head start in their careers,” he said.
“I encourage anyone thinking about upskilling or starting a new career to consider their options with TAFE NSW.”