Member for Tweed Geoff Provest today announced there will be an unprecedented level of support for apprentices in NSW Budget 2018, with the NSW Government to offer 100,000 free apprenticeships, to ensure there is a strong pipeline of skilled workers across the state.

Mr Provest said this new $285 million skills and training package means that as of next month, free apprenticeships will be offered to newly enrolled apprentices in any course.

“Today’s announcement is all about building up the workforce that will help us capitalise on our record infrastructure program, and in turn deliver a generation of skilled workers,” Mr Provest said.

“As a government, we have already created the positions for apprentices, by ensuring 20 per cent of trade roles on all future government projects will be filled by apprentices, and now we are covering the cost of their training,” he said.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Skills John Barilaro said NSW needs more apprentices to ensure we have a strong pipeline of skilled workers for the NSW job market.

 “We know that without skilled workers, our economy will stall,” Mr Barilaro said.

“The single biggest threat to our $80.1 billion infrastructure spending program is not having the workforce to deliver it. You can have the money to spend, but if you don’t have the skilled workers to actually bring the projects to life, it all counts for nothing.

“As an ex-tradie turned Skills Minister, it is extremely rewarding to be delivering this free training opportunity, particularly for our youngest workers.

“This sort of free training offer has never been made before, so I encourage people thinking about skilling up, or starting a new career to make the most of it,” he said.

The 100,000 free apprenticeships will be on offer over the next four years and include all 121 courses currently funded under the Smart and Skilled program.

For more information including details about how to enroll from July 1, go to the Smart and Skilled website at: