NECA is calling on the Federal Government to include all full-time apprentices and trainees across Greater Sydney, who are still aged 16, in the COVID disaster support payment program.
Under the current rules of the support scheme, eligibility doesn’t commence until the worker turns 17.
The issue of in-eligibility has become urgent this week with the pause of the building and construction industry across Greater Sydney for the next fortnight.
Tom Emeleus, General Manager, NECA Training and Apprenticeships and NECA spokesperson, said:
“Apprentice electricians and other trade apprentices are full-time workers.
“They complete their study one day a week and spend four days on the job, at work sites, learning their trade.
“Most apprentices have lost 80 per cent of their income as a result of the construction pause.
“It’s especially tough for the 16-year-olds in their first year because they’re new to the workforce and haven’t many leave entitlements.
“First-year apprentices who are still 16 are hit just as hard as their colleagues in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th year of training. It makes sense for the Federal Government support scheme to cover all apprentices impacted by COVID across Greater Sydney.”