The NSW Nationals in Government have announced a new initiative to help apprentices in bushfire and drought-affected areas.

Apprentices in bushfire and drought-affected areas whose employers are unable to keep them on will still be able to access the training component of their apprenticeships for up to 12 months for free.

Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh said the initiative means out-of-work apprentices will not be left behind while seeking new employers.

“The NSW Nationals in Government want to encourage our regional youth to stay connected with our community while on the pathway towards their future careers. We don’t want our apprentices to be forced to pack up and move away,” Mr Singh said.

“An apprentice who started training last year will be a fully qualified tradesperson within four years, so this is planning ahead. We will need future tradespeople in regional areas, including the Coffs Coast.”

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, visit your local Training Services NSW office or call 13 28 11.