Australian apprentices, people interested in an apprenticeship, and their employers will be able to get more help, from more locations, than ever before with start of the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (Apprenticeship Network) today.

Assistant Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham said the new Apprenticeship Network was the biggest reform to apprenticeship support in more than two decades.

“The Australian Government is investing up to $200 million annually in the Apprenticeship Network, which will help to recruit, train and retain more than 300,000 apprentices and trainees a year in more than 420 locations nationwide,” Senator Birmingham said.

“The Apprenticeship Network is particularly designed to help lift apprenticeship completion rates, which were unacceptably low at around 50 per cent throughout Labor’s term in office.”

Apprenticeship Network providers will target support services to the individual needs of employers and apprentices, from pre-commencement to completion, including:

  • new pre-commencement services that will match the right apprentice with the right apprenticeship and the right employer;
  •  new in-training assistance, including mentoring, that will help apprentices at-risk of non-completion, and employers, to work through obstacles; and
  • new assistance for those who may be unsuited to an apprenticeship to identify an alternative pathway.

The Apprenticeship Network is part of the Australian Government’s significant reform of apprenticeship support, which includes Trade Support Loans of up to $20,000 each to help apprentices with the costs of living and tools while undertaking an apprenticeship, and providing financial incentives to around 80,000 employers of apprentices each year.

“The Australian Government is making it easier for people to become an apprentice and for businesses to employ apprentices,” Senator Birmingham said.

“Apprenticeships are proven earning and learning pathways, and provide Australia’s workforce with the skills needed to grow our economy and make it more competitive and productive.

“The Apprenticeship Network is part of the Australian Government’s reforms to ensure vocational education and training (VET) provides real skills for real jobs, to lift the quality of skills training, and to raise the status of apprenticeships and skills training as a pathway to a rewarding and highly-valued career.”

For more information on the Apprenticeship Network, visit: or call the referral line on 13 38 73.

Media contact: Rachael Thompson 0427 729 987