Rebadged Apprentice Centres Receive Less Funding And More Tasks

“No amount of rebadging, renaming and other sneaky tricks will hide the fact that funding for apprentices has been slashed, axed and slashed again under the Abbott Government,” Sharon Bird said.

Today’s announcement of successful tenders  for the new Australian Apprentices Support Network is yet another reminder of the Abbott Government’s massive cuts to funding to support apprentices.

“In October last year then Minister Macfarlane announced that Australian Apprentices Centres would be rebadged with a new name – what he didn’t announce was the secret funding cut of $10 million per year.

“On top of the funding cut, the new Network is also expected to do additional tasks such as providing job matching, mentoring and support.

Existing Apprenticeship Centres were allocated approximately $210 million per year over the forward estimates – the newly named Australian Apprenticeship Support Network will receive $200 million per year – a cut of $10 million per year. 

“This cut comes on top of the abolition of the Tools for Your Trade Program, the Australian Apprenticeship Access Program, the Australian Apprenticeship Mentoring Program and the Apprentice to Business Owner Program – all axed by the Abbott Government in the budget last year.

Later in the year we saw further cuts to Joint Group Training and the Adult Australian Apprentices program.

In November we learnt that the Abbott Government was taking the axe to funding for the $12.5 million Joint Group Training program by 20 per cent this year and axing the program completely in 2015-16.

Joint Group Training plays a critical role in helping small and medium businesses to take on and retain apprentices.  They make connections between employers and prospective apprentices and help to build a strong and successful relationship between the two.

Then, just a month later, adult apprentices were dealt a blow with the announcement of a $66 million cut to direct adult apprentice assistance payment under the Adult Australian Apprentices program.  Under this program adult apprentices studying a Cert III or IV could receive up to $150 per week (up to $7,800 per year) in the first year and $100 per week (up to $5,200) in the second year of their apprenticeship.

“No amount of rebadging, renaming and other sneaky tricks will hide the fact that funding for apprentices has been slashed, axed and slashed again under the Abbott Government.

Apprenticeship Cuts 

  • Tools for Your Trade Program                                   Approx $915 million
  • Australian Apprenticeship Access Program                  Approx $18 million
  • Australian Apprenticeship Mentoring Program             Approx $32 million
  • Accelerated Australian Apprenticeships Program         Approx $4 million
  • Apprentice to Business Owner Program                      Approx $11 million
  • Adult Australian Apprentices                                     Approx $66 million
  • Australian Apprenticeship Support Network                $10 million per year
  • Joint Group Training                                                         $12.5 million*


* $12.5 million Joint Group Training Program cut by 20 per cent this year – the program will be axed completely in 2015-16.