Extra support for bushfire-affected apprentices

Thursday, 27 February, 2020

Extra support for bushfire-affected apprentices

Electrical apprentices affected by bushfires will receive up to 12 months of training for free under a NSW Government initiative.

The National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) has welcomed the move, which will assist apprentices in continuing their training despite disruptive circumstances.

NECA said it understands that the initiative will apply to registered training organisations (RTO). The association runs a leading RTO for electrotechnology apprentices, who will have a critical role to play in rebuilding damaged electrical infrastructure.

Suresh Manickam, CEO of NECA, has praised the initiative as a great first step for the state as it begins a lengthy and complex rebuild.

“This is a much-needed initiative for rural and regional Australia — particularly those impacted by recent national disasters. The NSW Government’s support will help much-needed apprentices stay in their local communities and rebuild them,” said Manickham.

“It is crucial that RTOs are included in this conversation as they will play a key role in improving rural and regional employment as well as training those that will rebuild our state.”

The severity of recent bushfire and drought events has highlighted the need for government to support trades and apprentices.

“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,” said Geoff Lee, Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education.

“This initiative is a great start and we strongly encourage the NSW Government to consider extending it beyond the current 12-month limit, as rebuilding regional and rural Australia will take ... years after the tragic devastation we have seen this summer,” said Manickham.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/HighwayStarz

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