The announcement by the New South Wales Government of an extension to the training component to
funded apprentices in bushfire and drought -affected areas has been applauded by the Independent
Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA), the peak body representing independent providers in the
higher educat ion, vocational education, training and skills sectors.
From today, apprentices in bushfire and drought -affected areas across New South Wales whose
employers are unable to keep them on will still be able to access the training component of their
apprentic eships for up to 12 months for free.
“Supporting apprentices and businesses in regional areas is essential and timely for the viability of ITECA
members in these areas. ITECA members have been severely affected by the recent bushfires and
ongoing drought a nd this initiative will go some way to support the recovery efforts in regional areas and
avoid a skills shortage in the future,” said Mr Troy Williams, ITECA Chief Executive.
This initiative is an important one for ITECA members. Noting it is uncapped, it will support young people
to be job ready and support them to stay in regional areas. It will also help ITECA members continue to
leverage and further develop strong regional community links. Training Services NSW will work with
apprentices to help conn ect them to potential employers.
“The drought and the bushfires have affected regional communities at all levels. The response of the
New South Wales Government is a welcome one that will strengthen local communities, because an
apprentice in a bushfire or drought -affected area can still access the training component of their
apprenticeship. This is good news for the ap prentices and the ITECA members that support them,” Mr
The New South Wales Government was engaged with ITECA on this initiative before it was announced.
ITECA represents independent providers in the higher education, vocational education, training and skills
sectors. Independent providers support more than 70% of the 4.1 million students enrolled in VET
programs across Australia.