As thousands of students across the state are completing the HSC and considering what to do next, Member of the Legislative Council Natasha Maclaren-Jones is urging young people in NSW to consider vocational training as the first step on the path to a long, rewarding career.

“Vocational skills are always in demand – from construction to computing, there’s a huge variety of skills you can learn that will set you up for a rewarding career,” Mrs Maclaren-Jones said.

“We know employers need more people trained in areas like aged care and health, technology and science. These are the kinds of areas of training that will prepare people for the jobs of the future, and help ensure our state keeps moving.

“Learning a trade is also a great way to get involved in the NSW Government’s multi-billion dollar infrastructure program.

“The NSW Government is investing to help people take advantage of the great opportunities presented by vocational training.”

From 2016, the NSW Government is investing in a range of initiatives to make it easier for young people to access high quality training that will help them get a good job, including:

  • 200,000 fee-free scholarships with priority for people living in, or on the waiting list for, social housing
  • A cap on traineeship fees of $1,000
  • $10 million investment to “try before you buy” through free pre-traineeship and pre-apprenticeship courses – funding 2,000 places, particularly for 2015 school leavers
  • $25 million to deliver 25,000 scholarships to students enrolling in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics related vocational qualifications
  • $10 million investment for an additional 2,000 places for students to train for jobs to support the delivery of the National Disability Insurance Scheme
  • Free vocational education and training, for qualifications on the NSW Skills List, for people with a disability, regardless of whether it is a first or subsequent qualification.

“Especially as students in NSW complete the HSC exams and start thinking about what to do next, I’d encourage school leavers to take up the opportunities presented by a vocational qualification,” Mrs Maclaren-Jones said.