Free apprenticeships for under 21s offers fully subsidised training for 139 priority apprenticeship and traineeship qualifications in areas such as electrical, plumbing and engineering as well as early childhood, aged and disability care.

The Free apprenticeships for under 21s initiative will cover the cost of training for Queensland apprentices or trainees who commenced or are undertaking 1 of the 139 high priority apprenticeship or traineeship qualifications from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2023.

These are the same qualifications as currently available under the Free tafe for Year 12 graduates initiative and published on the User Choice Price List.

View the full list of priority qualifications.

For further information, contact the Free Apprenticeships Hotline on 1800 210 210.

Frequently asked questions

An extension of the successful Free tafe for Year 12 graduates initiative with a focus on apprenticeships and traineeships.

From 1 July 2019 young people, up to 21 years of age, will be able to undertake one of 139 fee-free apprenticeships and/or traineeships.

Fee-free training will also be available to young people who commenced in a high priority apprenticeship or traineeship in previous years, where they are under 21 years of age on 1 July 2019 and are still in training.

Free apprenticeships will be available to all young people under 21 years that commence in a high priority apprenticeship or traineeship from 1 July 2019.

Free apprenticeships will also be available to all apprentices and trainees under 21 years that are still in training in these high priority qualifications when the initiative commences, with fee-free training available for all units or modules commenced on or after 1 July 2019.

Apprentices and trainees already eligible for fee-free training under the Free tafe for Year 12 graduates initiative will continue to be eligible.

The government will contribute the training fees for all eligible young people until they complete their apprenticeship or traineeship, including those that complete after the age of 21 years.

Estimated at $32 million over 4 years.

Additional fee payments will be made to pre-qualified suppliers (PQS) on behalf of eligible apprentices and trainees that are under 21 years and in training from 1 July 2019 or commence after that date until 30 June 2023.

This investment is in addition to the subsidies paid to PQS for the majority of the training costs, and the current funding for Free tafe for Year 12 graduates.

Fully subsidised training fees will be available to those young people under 21 years who commence in a high priority apprenticeship or traineeship during the 4-year period of 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2023.

There are 139 apprenticeships and traineeships on offer from our high priority skills list including:

  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Construction
  • Engineering.

View the full list of priority qualifications.

Under current award provisions, employers are generally required to fund the training costs of their apprentices.

From 1 July 2019 any business taking on a young apprentice or trainee in any of the 139 qualifications will not have to pay any student contribution fees.

The government will pay these fees to the apprentice or trainee's supervising registered training organisation (pre-qualified supplier) on their behalf.

Depending on the apprenticeship and duration this can be up to $3,000 over the life of the apprenticeship.

Governments can not address the skills shortage on their own – that is what we heard loud and clear from industry and employers at the Future of Work - Skills and Industry Summit in 2018.

We need businesses big and small to play their part in training the next generation of skilled workers in Queensland.

That is why we are making it free.

This is in addition to extending $885 million in payroll tax relief, including apprentice and trainee rebates.

The Free apprenticeships initiative will:

  • create more employment pathways for young people
  • remove financial barriers to participation in high priority vocations
  • encourage more employers to put on young apprentices and trainees
  • expand access to fee-free pathways for young people up to 21 years old
  • reduce the number of disengaged young people
  • help achieve the Queensland Government's youth engagement target
  • benefit over 60,000 young Queenslanders (in the initial four year period)
  • provide additional support for young people and their employer.

A review of outcomes will be undertaken and their findings will be considered as an ongoing party of the Annual VET Investment Plan.

Free apprenticeships for under 21s will cover the cost of training for apprentices and trainees who are undertaking a priority apprenticeship or traineeship qualification from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2023.

Free apprenticeships will be available to all apprentices and trainees under 21 years that are still in training in high priority qualifications when the initiative commences, with fee-free training available for all units or modules commenced on or after 1 July 2019.

Yes, this initiative will replace the Free tafe for Year 12 graduates initiative under the User Choice program only.

All apprentices and trainees already eligible for fee-free training under the Free tafe initiative continue to be eligible under the Free apprentices for under 21s initiative.

The Free apprenticeships for under 21s initiative will be available to all apprentices and trainees under the age of 21 years in 139 high priority apprenticeships and traineeships.

Yes, the Free apprentices for under 21s initiative will expand upon the current Free tafe for Year 12 graduates initiative to provide access to fee-free training for all young people under 21 years.

If a young person under 21 years is eligible to be employed as an apprentice or trainee in a high priority qualification, they will automatically be eligible to receive their training fee-free.

For apprentices and trainees under 21 years that are still in training in high priority qualifications when the initiative commences, fee-free training will only be available for all units or modules commenced on or after 1 July 2019.

For eligible apprentices and trainees, the government will pay student contribution fees direct to their supervising registered training organisation (pre-qualified supplier) on their behalf, so students and employers should not be required to do anything to access fee-free training.

For eligible apprentices and trainees that commenced prior to 1 July 2019 and are still under 21 years at this date, the government will pay student contribution fees for any units or modules started after this date. Their supervising registered training organisation (pre-qualified supplier) will reimburse them for any fees paid for this training since 1 July 2019, but this may not be available until October 2019.

For apprentices and trainees under 21 years that are still in training in high priority qualifications when the initiative commences, fee-free training will only be available for all units or modules commenced on or after 1 July 2019.

No, a young person will only be eligible to access fee-free training under the Free apprentices for under 21s initiative if they recommence when they are still under 21 years, and if it is before 30 June 2023.

Related information

Last updated 28 August 2019

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