Ask Bob: How to Finance Your Tools


Every month, Bob takes a minute or two to sort out an issue a tradie is facing and set them straight when it comes to life on a building site. This month, Adam has a question about getting himself the tools of the trade.

Hi Bob, I’m 17 and I’ve just started my apprenticeship. Work provides my van but I need to get my own tools. I’m on apprentice wages and I’m not sure how to find the cash. Any advice?

Cheers, Adam

How to Finance Your Tools in an Apprenticeship


Hey Adam!

I’m glad to hear you’re already on the tools. Well… almost, right? In all seriousness though, congrats on starting your apprenticeship mate, that’s great news.

Now, let’s get this tool business sorted.

Apply for an Apprenticeship Support Program

In previous years, the Australian government provided trade apprentices and trainees with a tool grant to cover their initial setup costs in their chosen trade. This scheme, known as ‘Tools for Your Trade’, has now been replaced with a thing called the Australian Apprentice Training Support Program which you can use to pay for your tools and other expenses related to your apprenticeship.

The good news is that the loan scheme offers Australian apprentices training in Priority Occupations assistance of up to $5,000 ($1,250 paid every six months for their first two years), to ensure they are supported to complete their training.

Get Trade Support Loans

Trade Support Loans (TSLs) are also available to eligible apprentices to provide additional financial support with everyday costs while completing your apprenticeship. You can receive up to $21,779 over the life of the apprenticeship. There is no waiting period to claim but please understand, this is a loan and not a gift, so it must be paid back.

The loans are optional, meaning if yourself or your employer wants to cover your costs you don’t have to take the loan, but it’s good to know it’s there.

Hope this info helps you Adam, and good luck with your apprenticeship.

Your mate,