Release type: Media Release


More apprentices can now access cost of living relief


The Hon Brendan O'Connor MP
Minister for Skills and Training

Around 38,000 apprentices and trainees across 60 in-demand occupations are now eligible for financial assistance, under the expanded Australian Apprenticeship Support Loans scheme.

Eligible apprentices and trainees may apply for loans, which provide cost of living assistance of up to $24,492 interest-free over the course of the apprenticeship.

As encouragement to achieve career goals, apprentices and trainees receive a 20% discount on their total loans when they complete their training.

The revised program, begins 1 January 2024, includes non-trade apprentices and trainees for the first time, in areas such as early childhood education, aged care and disability care.

The extension of the loans will particularly benefit women, who make up the majority of non-trade apprentices.

This support is structured to provide the greatest assistance in the early years of an apprenticeship, when wages are lowest.

Increasing access to Australian Apprenticeship Support Loans is part of the Albanese Government’s drive to ease cost of living pressures, lift apprenticeship completion rates, increase diversity among the apprentice workforce and help ease Australia’s critical skill shortages.

For the first time, the new Australian Apprenticeship Priority List will ensure that eligibility for loans is based on evidence from Jobs and Skills Australia, and reflects up-to-date skills shortages.

Information on eligible apprenticeships and traineeships, selected as part of the Australian Apprenticeship Priority List, can be found at:

Quotes attributable to Minister for Skills and Training, Hon Brendan O’Connor:

“The expanded Australian Apprenticeship Support Loans scheme provides vital cost-of-living support for apprentices and trainees to complete their training - including for the first time to occupations predominantly undertaken by women.”

“With critical skills shortages in sectors like early childhood education, aged care and disability care, it’s never been more important to support priority apprentices and trainees to complete their studies.”