$6 million extra support for Country Trainees & Apprentices
Trainees and apprentices in country NSW have access to another $6 million to help them complete their courses in a new State Government funding initiative welcomed by local MP Adam Marshall.
Minister for Skills John Barilaro today announced a major increase in subsidies for travel and accommodation.
The Vocational Training Assistance Scheme (VTAS) accommodation subsidy will double from $28 per night to $56 per night, and the fuel subsidy will increase from 12c to 33c per kilometre.
“This is especially important news for trainees in our region,” Mr Marshall said. “Course options tend to be limited in country centres and there are big distances between towns. I know people in Armidale, Inverell and even Moree who have to travel to Tamworth for parts of their training.”
“That can mean that the costs of training are disproportionately high for those living in regional centres. This increased subsidy goes a long way to mitigating those costs.
“It is another demonstration by the government that it is committed to growth in the bush.”
Announcing the increased subsidy, Minister Barilaro said the change was acknowledgement that the system had provided inadequate support for apprentices and trainees outside big urban centres.
“The subsidies have been inadequate for years, with regional trainees and apprentices ignored by previous governments,” Mr Barilaro said.
“The accommodation subsidy hasn’t moved since 2005 and the travel allowance has remained unchanged since 2001.
“From 1 July we’re increasing subsidies and removing yet another obstacle that might hold back apprentices and trainees from completing their studies.”
Mr Marshall said that with rising costs of living, the new subsidies would ease some financial pressure to ensure that vocational training remained viable.
“Trades are vital to our country communities and we’re removing a significant barrier to the development of tomorrow’s workforce,” he said.
Increases to Vocational Training Assistance Scheme subsidies take effect immediately and more information is available on the Training Services NSW website.