Senate debates

Monday, 14 July 2014


Trade Support Loans Bill 2014, Trade Support Loans (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2014; Second Reading

1:13 pm

Photo of Sean EdwardsSean Edwards (SA, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

The Abbott-led coalition government is building a stronger economy by supporting apprentices to successfully complete their qualifications. This government is delivering on its commitment to introduce Trade Support Loans for apprentices to encourage more young people to take up a trade and complete their qualifications. We are committed to providing opportunities for a hand up and not a handout. We are committed to building a high-quality and nationally consistent Australian apprenticeship system, which supports our apprentices and responds to the needs of employers and the economy. Australia's future productivity and competitiveness depends on a highly skilled and trained workforce. We do the unemployed a great disservice by allowing them to languish on welfare. Trade support loans will provide real support for current apprentices to complete their skills training and to provide a stronger incentive for young Australians to become apprentices. One of the largest challenges in this field is completing a qualification. Nationally, only about one in two apprentices finish their training. I have firsthand experience in this: my son is a third-year carpentry apprentice and he finds it very difficult to get by. I know that this scheme is most welcomed by him and by his employer. I am sure all industry trades on the building sites in the south-east of South Australia will enjoy the benefit of this initiative from the Abbott government.

Investing in infrastructure and abolishing job-destroying taxes is the first step to growing jobs for a sustainable long-term solution for our unemployed. Trade support loans are a part of this strategy. This is the policy we took to the election and this is the policy we are implementing. This is one reason people voted for us on 7 September last year.


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