Trade Support Loans are to encourage more young people to take up a trade and complete their qualification and are available to apprentices undertaking a Certificate III or IV level qualification leading to occupations on the National Skills Needs List as well as a number of agriculture and horticulture qualifications at the Certificates II, III and IV levels.

Trade Support Loans are paid in instalments totalling up to $20,808 over the life of the Australian Apprenticeship. These loans are intended to assist apprentices with everyday costs while they complete their apprenticeship. Eligible trade Australian Apprentices may apply (opt-in) for monthly instalments according to their needs.

The loan becomes repayable once the loan recipient’s income reaches the income repayment threshold.

Download the fact sheet here 

Why the Programme was created

The Trade Support Loans Programme provides more than $1.9 billion in loans which is around double the support that would have been provided under the Tools for your Trade measure.

Around 20 per cent of trade apprentices drop out by the end of their first year and 30 per cent drop out by the end of the second year. That is why loan payments are heavily weighted to the first two years of the apprenticeship, when wages are at their lowest.

MEGT Apprenticeship Network Provider administers the Trade Support Loans Programme. Australian Apprentices will be able to check their eligibility for a Trade Support Loan through your local MEGT Apprenticeship Network Provider.

Please call 13 6348 to find out more.

Employers and apprentices can access more information at:

mechanical apprentice

There are terms and conditions as well as eligibility criteria for Trade Support Loans (TSL). TSL is available to apprentices who reside in Australia and are an Australian citizen, or the holder of a permanent visa. They must be undertaking a Certificate III or IV level qualification that leads to an occupation on the National Skills Needs List, or a Certificate II, III or IV agriculture qualification, or a Certificate II, III or IV horticulture qualification while working in rural or regional Australia.

Eligibility is assessed by your Apprenticeship Network Provider on receipt of a completed Trade Support Loans Application Form.

Payment information

Eligible first year Australian Apprentices may receive up to $8,323, second year $6,242, third year $4,162 and fourth year apprentices $2,081. Payments are made monthly in arrears (e.g. $693.60 per month in the first year; $520.20 per month in the second and so forth).

Australian Apprentices who complete their qualification will receive a 20 per cent discount on their Loan. The Loan will be repayable through the tax system once apprentices are earning a sustainable income, $51,957 per year.

Payments will be available in the three month probationary period, as long as the apprentice qualifies for and claims payment.

Apprentices will opt in for a six month payment period with payments made in arrears on a monthly basis. The opt-in will allow apprentices to receive the next six Trade Support Loan payments that fall due. Following this, the apprentices will be required to opt-in again to receive further payments.

Apprentices can also opt-out of receiving payments at any time.

The income of an Australian Apprentice will not impact on their eligibility for loans.

Apprentices will only be able to claim the next instalment that falls due after they apply. They will not be able to claim instalments that occurred in the past except in very rare circumstances (see above). Apprentices will not have 12 months to claim.

Apprentices will only be able to claim payments while they are undertaking their apprenticeship. If an apprentice completes before the end of four years, their payments cease on completion, even if they have not received the full $20,000. Apprentices will not be paid out the remaining balance on completion.

The Loans will be spread over the four years of an apprenticeship, diminishing as wages increase so that maximum support is provided in the initial years when most needed.

These loans will be paid monthly, with most of the money available in the early years of an apprenticeship.

The Living Away From Home Allowance is for eligible Australian Apprentices of any age during the first three years of training if you need to move away from your parental or legal guardian’s home for the first time in order to

  • take up an Australian Apprenticeship or
  • remain in an Australian Apprenticeship or
  • receive essential supplementary on-the-job training with another employer.

You also may be eligible to receive the allowance if you are undertaking an Australian Apprenticeship and you are, or become, homeless.

It is available to eligible full and part-time Australian Apprentices and Australian School-based Apprentices during the first three years of their training.

The allowance is not available to Australian Apprentices who:

  • have lodged a claim for Youth Allowance, Austudy or ABSTUDY or
  • receive rental or accommodation assistance from Centrelink or their employer or
  • moved away from their parental or legal guardian’s home three months or more before starting their Australian Apprenticeship.

Our aim is to support you so you can stay on track with your Australian Apprenticeship. We may be able to offer you mentoring support or just have a chat to help you work through things – at no charge.

Follow this link to find out how MEGT may be able to help you

Australian Apprentices may be eligible for income support through Youth Allowance, Austudy or ABSTUDY. More information is available from Centrelink on 13 36 33.

You may be eligible for other bonuses and support from your State Government.  Please refer to the State Government listings at the bottom of the Financial Incentives section of this website.

About apprenticeships and traineeships

Apprenticeships and traineeships What are they ? Australian Apprenticeships are the best way to combine training and employment and lead to a nationally recognised qualification. Australian Apprenticeships are available to

MEGT Australia

Australian Apprenticeships Centres are now Australian Apprenticeship Support Network locations.

MEGT (Australia) Ltd, trading as MEGT, is an Apprenticeship Network Provider contracted by the Australian Government as represented by the Department of Education and Training to provide Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) services to employers and Australian Apprentices. MEGT is one of eleven Apprenticeship Network Providers throughout Australia. This website does not represent the Australian Government. If you wish to access information about Australian Apprenticeships from the Australian Government, please visit

Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Programme Guidelines and associated appendices may be viewed on the Department of Education and Training website.

Australian Apprenticeship Network Providers are an Australian Government funded initiative.

Need help? Call us at 13 MEGT (6348) or email us at

MEGT (Australia) Ltd