Apprentices Left Without Assistance Due To Abbott Government's Incompetence

Sharon Bird has called on Minister Macfarlane to immediately re-commence the Tools for Your Trade program as an interim measure following the Abbott Government’s incompetence in managing the legislative program which has resulted in apprentices being unable to access any assistance.

Over the past month, apprentices have been receiving correspondence advising that the Tools for Your Trade program had been axed and inviting them to apply for Trade Support Loans from 1 July 2014. 

The Abbott Government’s failure to have the Bill debated in the Senate this week means that from 1 July 2014 apprentices will not be able to access any assistance to help them with the cost of tools, equipment, books and petrol to get to their jobsites.

“Despite this being a pre-election commitment and therefore knowing legislation would be required since they won the election, the Minister didn’t bother to introduce the legislation until 4 June 2014,” Sharon Bird said.

“The next semester of TAFE will be commencing shortly and apprentices will need to purchase new books and equipment to continue their studies.  They will now need to do this without the promised assistance from the Government.

“The Minister must step up and re-introduce the Tools for Your Trade program so that apprentices aren’t left high and dry without access to any assistance.”