New scheme to pay apprentices for travel

TAFE apprentices will receive an allowance for long distance travel.

The state government unveiled the new program in Bendigo on Friday.

Member for Northern Victoria Damian Drum said students would receive $200 towards travel expenses from March. 

“When they travel to either a small regional town or into a major regional centre in Bendigo or Melbourne, those expenses are currently borne by students with an ad hoc approach to it,” he said.

“Some students receive rebates on those expenses, but the majority don’t.

“So this program will see all students that have to travel more than 100km to a TAFE college receive a rebate up to $200.

“We understand how important apprentices are.

“We also understand that apprentices are lowly paid by community standards.”

Minister for Higher Education Peter Hall said the scheme would support apprentices who could not complete their training locally. He said the money would go straight to students. 

But the state opposition took aim at the payment. Shadow Minister for Higher Education, Skills and Apprenticeships Steve Herbert said TAFE was becoming more expensive. 

"This announcement will not help the thousands of apprentices across the state whose fees continue to rise," he said. 

"TAFE fees continue to skyrocket under the Napthine government, putting skills training out of reach of young people. Our TAFE campuses have been gutted, and our kids can't get the skills they need to start their career."

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