THE number of apprentices in NSW dropped by 9 per cent in the last year but the federal government’s decision to scrap the tools for your trade payments on Tuesday is not the solution to encourage people into apprenticeships.
That is the view of Skillset CEO Craig Randazzo, who said the way to encourage more people to take on a trade was to move government departments outside metropolitan areas and into the central west.
“Decentralising government services to regional areas means more services that governments can provide here, more contractors, it’s good for the regional economy and good for the government,” he said.
The federal government scrapped the tools for your trade payment, worth up to $5500 in four instalments, and plans to replace it with a $20,000 HECS style loan which means apprentices part-way through their training will miss out on thousands.
The legislation is yet to pass through Senate.
Since the wind down of construction of the Cadia East project by Cadia Valley Operations the trade shortage in Orange has eased but more needs to be done to ensure there is enough trades people in the area, Mr Randazzo said.
“The development of young people is important, they’re the life-blood of regional communities and we have to do everything we can to keep them here,” he said.