The Australian Steel Institute (ASI) welcomes the announcement by New South Wales Premier (NSW) Gladys Berejiklian that a new $285 million skills and training package will be made available in the NSW Budget 2018.

The NSW Government will offer 100,000 free apprenticeships over the next four years as part of an unprecedented level of support for apprentices, which will ensure there is a strong pipeline of skilled workers across the state.

ASI Chief Executive, Tony Dixon, said “The ASI welcomes the announcement by Premier Gladys Berejiklian, and acknowledges the NSW Government for listening to our concerns and taking action.”

“NSW is experiencing a significant increase in construction and infrastructure projects, which has significantly increased the demand on trades and vocational training.”

“The NSW Budget 2018 includes a package that provides for 100,000 free new apprenticeships over the next four years across a range of skill specifications. With this, apprenticeships will be more accessible and more affordable. This will assist in building the workforce of the future that we really need.”

“The ASI already has a Memorandum of Understanding in place with Apprenticeship Support Australia. Through this MoU, ASI will continue assisting our members to build their workplace capability. We look forward to working with all stakeholders to help facilitate skills development across the steel industry.”

100,000 apprentices who commence their apprenticeship from 1 July 2018 can undertake their training free of charge. There is no requirement for apprentices to pay an upfront fee, nor for employers to reimburse apprentices for their studies.

The Government has made it as easy as possible for students to take up this offer. It will not be limited simply to TAFE, but also offered through other Registered Training Organisations (RTOs).