Before July 1 this year, a NSW apprentice needing to travel more than 120 km a day for training received a $28 p/night accommodation subsidy and a 12c p/km fuel subsidy. This was the prospect facing any young country-based aspiring apprentice unable to access training inside 120km of his or her home. Well, I’m delighted to be blogging the recent decision of the NSW Department of Industry to double the accommodation allowance – last revised 9 years ago – and the decision to nearly triple the fuel allowance, which hadn’t changed in 15 years!
“We want to make sure apprentices and trainees have the support they need to complete their training by making it easier for them to travel and to stay somewhere if they’re attending training away from home,” said Skills Minister, Mr John Barilaro.
NSW Deputy Premier Troy Grant said this would particularly benefit regional NSW where trainees and apprentices face long travel distances. “Now they can stay in the regions and work where they live and be supported when they need to travel more than 120 kilometres to continue their training at a TAFE campus,” Mr Grant said. “We’re acknowledging that people who put the initiative and hard work into making a go of a new job deserve extra support to make that new start.”
To compensate for the long distance travel barrier, depending on the circumstances, some TAFE/RTO’s currently offer on-site bricklaying assessment as a part of the Certificate III Apprenticeship. ABBTF’s view is that a blended model combining on and offsite experience gives the best results and the contributions of each are very different in nature; so this announcement is especially welcomed by us.
ABBTF already provides additional Apprentice Regional Travel Support (ARTS) of $50 a day in all States for travel over 100km/p day.
Information on the additional reimbursement by employers, on Overnight Stay Costs for Training, applicable in all States, is provided in Note 7 of the Employment and Pay Conditions under the Fair Work agreement are here at this website. While there are numerous NSW TAFE/RTO bricklayer training locations, large parts of the State are a long distance from any one of these. The revised allowances are retrospective from July 1, 2016 and can be accessed at the Training Services NSW website or via the Vocational Training Assistance Scheme (VTAS) Guidelines brochure at that website.
For further information on long distance training travel and accommodation allowances, Employers and Apprentices please Call Us on 1300 66 44 96. And if you’re considering a career in Bricklaying and want further help, give us a call.
ABBTF NSW Manager