Trade Support Loan
The Trade Support Loan (TSL) program has been introduced by the Australian Government to provide financial support to apprentices to assist in the completion of their qualifications and aid in moving into paid employment. The TSL is available to all Australian apprentices who meet the eligibility criteria and who have started a Certificate III or IV qualification that leads to a job on the National Skills Needs List.
The TSL provides up to $20 420 to apprentices to assist with the cost of living and learning while undertaking an apprenticeship.
Access to the loans is spread over the (usually) four years of an apprenticeship, with most of the loan amount accessible in the first couple of years, because that is when costs are the highest, and when access to a helping hand would be of most use.
TSL are flexible and are designed to support apprentices in their individual circumstances. Eligible apprentices can opt-in and opt-out of the programme as their needs change and may choose to borrow a few thousand dollars for work gear or equipment, save up the payments to buy a second-hand car, or use the full amount to cover living expenses during their training.
Under the TSL apprentices can access $8,168 in their first year, $6,126 in the second, $4,084 in the third and $2,042 in the fourth year. Eligible apprentices may choose to take up the full amount or just part of it, depending on their needs. Like HELP loans for tertiary students, the loans will be repayable once apprentices are earning a sustainable income. The loans are interest free but will be indexed once a year in line with CPI. When apprentices complete their training they are eligible for a discount of 20 per cent on the loan amount, worth up to $4,000.
How to Apply
Your Australian Apprenticeship Centre (ACC) will provide you with a Trade Support Loan application form if you are potentially eligible. To apply you must lodge a Trade Support Loans Application Form which includes your tax file number.