Trade Support Loans: A Helping Hand for Australian Apprentices


As an aspiring apprentice in Australia, one of the biggest challenges you may face is the financial burden of training. Recognising this, the Australian Government launched the Trade Support Loans program in 2014 to provide financial support to eligible apprentices during their training. In this blog, we’ll explore what the Trade Support Loans program is, who’s eligible for it, how to apply, and other government assistance available to apprentices.

What is the Trade Support Loans Program?

The Trade Support Loans program is a loan scheme offered by the Australian Government to assist eligible Australian apprentices with the costs associated with their training. It is a voluntary program that provides financial assistance to help apprentices cover expenses such as tools, equipment, travel, and living expenses.

The Trade Support Loans program is available to eligible apprentices undertaking a Certificate III or IV qualification in a trade occupation that is in high demand. The program is not means-tested, so the eligibility of an apprentice is based on their participation in an eligible trade occupation.

Am I Eligible for Trade Support Loans?

To be eligible for a Trade Support Loan, you must meet the following criteria:

  • must be an Australian citizen, permanent humanitarian visa holder, or New Zealand citizen who is a Special Category Visa (SCV) holder.
  • must be undertaking a Certificate III or IV qualification in an eligible trade occupation
  • must have commenced your apprenticeship on or after 1 July 2019
  • must not have previously received Trade Support Loans for the same apprenticeship

If you meet these eligibility criteria, you may be eligible to receive a Trade Support Loan.

How to apply for a Trade Support Loan?

The process for applying for a Trade Support Loan is straightforward. You can apply through the Australian Apprenticeships website or by completing a paper application form available from your Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider. You will need to provide evidence of your enrolment in a Certificate III or IV qualification in an eligible trade occupation, and your citizenship or visa status.

Once your application is processed and approved, you will start receiving fortnightly payments directly to your nominated bank account. The payments will continue until you complete your apprenticeship, or until you reach the loan limit of $21,078 (as of 2023).

Other Government Assistance Available for Apprentices

In addition to the Trade Support Loans program, the Australian Government provides other financial assistance to support apprentices, including:

Apprenticeship Wage Subsidy

This program provides financial incentives to employers who take on apprentices in targeted industries and regions.

Tools For Your Trade

This program provides a one-off payment of $800 to eligible apprentices to purchase tools and equipment necessary for their trade.

Australian Apprentice Support Network

This program provides advice and assistance to apprentices and their employers, including mentoring and support for apprentices experiencing personal or financial difficulties.