A NEW initiative to help apprentices in bushfire and drought-affected areas was launched in Nambucca today by Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education, Geoff Lee, and local MP Melinda Pavey.
As of now, 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.
Mr Lee said the initiative means out of work apprentices in regional areas will not be left behind while seeking new employers.
"We want to encourage regional youth to stay connected with their communities while on the pathway towards their future careers. We don't want our regional apprentices to be forced to pack up and move out of their communities," Mr Lee 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 our regions."
Minister for Regional Youth, Bronnie Taylor, said the inaugural Regional Youth Taskforce made it clear that young people want opportunities to be job ready in the community they love.
"At a time when we are losing young people from the regions this is exactly the sort of initiative, we need to allow them to stay," Mrs Taylor said.
Member for Oxley, Melinda Pavey, said the 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," Ms Pavey said.
For more information, visit your local Training Services NSW office or call 132-811.