What financial support is available?

While there are some costs involved in completing an apprenticeship or traineeship, financial support may be available to help with these costs.

Trade Support Loans

Trade Support Loans are to encourage more young people to take up a trade and complete their qualification.

The Australian Government is offering loans of up to $22,890 over the life of an apprenticeship to apprentices who are undertaking a Certificate III or IV level qualification that leads to an occupational outcome on the Trade Support Loans Priority List. These loans are designed to ease the financial burden and help increase apprenticeship completion rates.

Like HELP loans for tertiary students, the loans will be repayable once apprentices are earning a sustainable income.

The Trade Support Loans provide real support for current apprentices to complete their skills training and provide a stronger incentive for young Australians to become apprentices.

  • Eligibility

    To be eligible for Trade Support Loans (TSL) you must reside in Australia and be an Australian citizen, or the holder of a permanent visa, and be undertaking one of the following:

    • A Certificate III or IV qualification that leads to an occupation on the Trade Support Loans Priority List
    • A Certificate II, III or IV in the agriculture sector
    • A Certificate II, III or IV in the horticulture sector, where you’re working in a rural or regional area

    If you’re a school-based and/or part-time apprentice, you are also eligible to apply, as long as you meet the above eligibility criteria.  Once approved, your payments will be made at the same rate as for full-time apprentices (see payment information section below).

    • Payment information

      From 1 July 2022, the monthly instalment rates are as follows:

       First Year  $9,156 (12 monthly payments of $763.00)
      Second Year  $6,867 (12 monthly payments of $575.25)
      Third Year  $4,578 (12 monthly payments of $381.50)
      Fourth Year (and beyond)  $2,289 (12 monthly payments of $190.75

      Australian Apprentices who complete their qualification will receive a 20 per cent discount on their total loan amount.

      The loans will be repayable through the tax system once apprentices are earning a sustainable income of $48,361 (this figure correct for 2022-23 financial 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 Loans payments that fall due. Following this, the apprentices will be required to reapply (opt-in) again online 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 cannot claim payments for instalments that have passed (except in very rare circumstances, such as an administrative error).

      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 $22,890. Apprentices will not be paid out the remaining balance on completion.

    To find out more about Trade Support Loans, including whether you're eligible and how to apply, get in touch with us or download the relevant fact sheet below:

    Additional Identified Skills Shortage Payment

    Effective 1 July 2019, the Australian Government’s $2,000 Additional Identified Skills Shortage (AISS) Payment is available to eligible new apprentices in areas of identified skills shortages.

    To be eligible to claim the AISS Payment, the Australian Apprentice must be a new worker* undertaking a Certificate III or IV-level qualification leading to an occupation on the AISS Payment list.

    AISS Payments will be made in addition to any personal benefits the apprentice may be eligible for under the Australian Apprenticeships program.

    To find out more about AISS, including whether you are eligible and how to apply, get in touch with us or download our fact sheet.

    Living Away From Home Allowance

    The Living Away From Home Allowance (LAFHA) is for eligible full-time or part-time 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 LAFHA if you are undertaking an Australian Apprenticeship and you are, or become, homeless.

    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.

    To find out more about LAFHA, including whether you are eligible and how to apply, get in touch with us or download our fact sheet.  

    You may also be eligible for the following Government financial incentives and assistance depending on your State:

    • New South Wales

      Travel concessions

      Eligible first, second and third-year apprentices and new entrant trainees may be entitled to a Transport Concession Card.

      Visit www.training.nsw.gov.au or download our fact sheet for more information.

      Travel and accommodation assistance

      Apprentices and new entrant trainees may be eligible for travel and accommodation assistance if they need to travel more than a 120km round trip to attend day or block release with their Registered Training Organisation.

      Visit www.training.nsw.gov.au or download our fact sheet for more information.

      Rebate on car registration for apprentices

      First and second-year apprentices may be eligible to receive a $100 rebate on their car registration.

      Visit www.rta.nsw.gov.au or download our fact sheet for more information.

      Continuing apprentice placement service

      Apprentices and trainees in skills shortages occupations and affected by economic downturn may register their details for a free job matching service.

      Visit www.training.nsw.gov.au and www.australianapprenticeships.gov.au for more information.

      The Way Ahead Program for Aboriginal People

      The Way Ahead for Aboriginal People Program is a free service for Aboriginal apprentices and trainees who need additional support in the workplace.

      Visit www.training.nsw.gov.au for more information.

      ​​​​​​Smart and Skilled 

      Smart and Skilled provides eligible students with:

      • An entitlement to government-subsidised training up to and including Certificate III
      • Government funding for higher-level courses (Certificate IV and above) in targeted priority areas.

      Visit www.smartandskilled.nsw.gov.au for more information.

      Regional scholarship - NSW Country Apprentice Scholarships

      A Scholarship is available in NSW to provide financial assistance to eligible country NSW apprentices to support their apprenticeship training. This Scholarship pays $5,000 for each year the apprentice is completing training to a maximum of $15,000.

      At least 10 Scholarships are awarded each year.  At least two of these are awarded to apprentices of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background.

      Eligibility includes apprentices who are:

      • In the 1st year of an approved apprenticeship
      • A resident in country NSW for the term of their apprenticeship
      • Is registered in NSW under the Apprenticeship & Traineeship Act 2001
      • Preferably working in a skill shortage category in NSW and or the apprentice’s local area.

      Nominations close 30th April each calendar year. Contact us for more information.

    • Queensland

      Travel and accommodation assistance

      Apprentices and trainees (not including school-based) may be eligible for travel and accommodation assistance where they are required to travel at least 100km (return trip) to attend training at the closest RTO to their residence.

      Visit www.training.qld.gov.au for more information.

      Registered Trade Skills Pathway Construction Pilot 

      This pilot is aimed at assisting non-qualified workers in a number of construction trades to build on their existing skills, knowledge and experience to gain a trade qualification.

      It enables individuals over the age of 21 to undertake training and a work-based trade skills pathway that best suits their particular situation.

      The pilot is for Queensland labourers and assistants currently working in bricklaying, carpentry, painting, plastering or tiling trades.

      Visit www.training.qld.gov.au for more information.

      Fee-free training for Year 12 graduates

      Year 12 graduates can access fee-free training for Certificate III apprenticeships or traineeships in high priority areas under the Real Opportunities Action Plan.

      Visit www.training.qld.gov.au for more information.

    • South Australia

      Accommodation and Travel Allowance

      Accommodation and travel allowance may be available to apprentices and trainees who reside in a non-metropolitan area if they must travel a round trip in excess of 150km to the venue of the closest Registered Training Organisation (RTO) able to deliver the training.

      Visit www.training.sa.gov.au for more information.

    • Tasmania

      Accommodation and Travelling Allowances

      Travel and accommodation allowances are payable to apprentices and trainees who are required to travel either within Tasmania or interstate to attend structured training.

      Visit www.skills.tas.gov.au for more information.

    • Victoria

      Skills First

      The Skills First program supports apprentices, workers seeking retraining, those needing extra support and regional students seeking courses in their local area.

      The program offers:

      • Support for apprentices and trainees
      • Retraining and upskilling opportunities for older workers
      • High quality training
      • Support for disadvantaged students

      Skills First can help students research courses, choose the right training provider, or check eligibility for a government-subsidised training place. You can find a list of Victorian training providers here.

      Skills and Jobs Centres are also located at TAFE campuses to help students looking to start training, or workers wanting to re-skill or retrain. They offer:

      • Advice about apprenticeships and traineeships
      • Job search skills training and resume preparation assistance
      • Career and training plan advice

      Support for disadvantaged students

      Sometimes, young people require extra support and assistance in areas such as literacy, health and accommodation. They may qualify for help under the Reconnect program which provides funds for such services.

      Victorian trade apprentice car registration discount

      If you’re a Victorian trade apprentice using your car for work, you may be eligible for a 50% discount on your next car registration renewal.

      To be eligible for the 50% discount, the vehicle must be registered in your name. You must also:

      • Be enrolled in an approved apprenticeship course and registered as an apprentice with the Victorian Registration and Qualification Authority (VRQA)
      • Use your own car, ute or van for approved work purposes (verified by your employer), or to regularly travel to or from work between 8:30pm and 5:30am 
      • Hold a current Victorian driver’s licence

      For more information, visit www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/registration/registration-fees/concessions-and-discounts/trade-apprentice-registration-discount or download our fact sheet.

    • Western Australia

      Travel and Accommodation Allowance

      Apprentices and trainees undertaking training funded by the Department of Training and Workforce Development may be eligible to access travel and/or accommodation allowances.

      There is a minimum round trip distance which must be travelled to claim assistance.

      Visit www.dtwd.wa.gov.au for more information.

    Additional financial assistance

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

    Low Income Health Care Card

    As an apprentice or trainee, you may qualify for a Low Income Health Care Card which entitles you to cheaper prescription medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). 

    To be eligible for a Low Income Health Care Card you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

    • You must be living in Australia and
    • Have Australian citizenship or 
    • Hold a permanent visa or 
    • Hold a Special Category visa or
    • Hold a Partner Provisional visa subclass 309 or 820 or a Temporary Protection visa and
    • You must also satisfy the Low Income Health Care Card income test

    To find out more about the Low Income Health Care Card, including whether you are eligible and how to apply, get in touch with us or download our fact sheet.