Win for Vocational Education Students- Traineeships Fee-Free from January 2020

Monday, 11 November 2019

In a win for vocational education students, the NSW Government has invested $54.3 million to make government-subsidised traineeships fee-free from January next year.

Traineeships are similar to apprenticeships but generally take around 1-2 years to complete and are in a variety of different fields including agriculture, allied health, early childhood education and retail.

Through the NSW Government’s Smart and Skilled vocational education and training system, traineeships will join apprenticeships in being fee free from 1 January 2020.

Mark Coure, Member for Oatley says that this initiative will help local employers to take on more trainees and boast the local economy.

“This $54.3 million announcement will be a game-changer for small and medium sized businesses in the St George area. It will allow trainees to focus on study and practical training and employers to gain valuable skills for their business.” 

Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said the NSW Government would be picking up the tab for the fees on all new traineeships, including school-based traineeships.

“Our investment in fee free traineeships, coupled with the $285 million initiative that’s made apprenticeships fee-free, demonstrates that we are serious about getting people into sustainable work and addressing the skills shortage,” Mr Lee said.

Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell said a skilled workforce is one of the most important factors in delivering high quality early childhood education.

“This announcement to fund the student fees for Smart and Skilled eligible trainees is an important step in ensuring a skilled workforce to deliver high quality early childhood education and care” Ms Mitchell said.

“It’s encouraging that the most popular traineeships are in early childhood education with over 10,000 students since 2015 taking up a traineeship” Ms Mitchell said.

For more information about this initiative please visit