Apprentice training grants to help cyclone Seroja recovery effort across the Mid West

Phoebe PinGeraldton Guardian
Minister for Emergency Services Reece Whitby, Melissa Pexton and DFES Commissioner Darren Klemm tour Kalbarri after the cyclone.
Camera IconMinister for Emergency Services Reece Whitby, Melissa Pexton and DFES Commissioner Darren Klemm tour Kalbarri after the cyclone. Credit: Supplied

The cyclone Seroja recovery effort is set to benefit from a new grant program aimed at making it easier for disaster-affected communities to access tradies.

Launched by the Construction Training Fund, the $3.5 million initiative will provide additional support to employers, apprentices and trainees who help to rebuild areas affected by natural disasters like the Wooroloo bushfire and cyclone Seroja.

Currently, eligible businesses which have an apprentice or trainee can receive a disaster recovery grant of up to $21,000 to help with the costs of training.

Employers of apprentices and trainees working in the affected regions can claim an additional grant of up to $6000 over the two-year period.

Their apprentices or trainees can also claim up to $2000 over the two-year period to cover costs such as travel and accommodation.

Under the program, subsidies are available to eligible applicants for short courses relating to construction skills, occupational licensing and occupational health and safety.

The Construction Training Fund is also investing additional funding into the Try-a-Trade program run by Central Regional TAFE in Geraldton and to MATES in Construction to support those in the construction industry dealing with the impacts of the disasters.

Emergency Services Minister Reece Whitby said the initiative would go far to help Mid West residents who suffered the “heartbreaking loss” of seeing their homes destroyed in the April cyclone.

“By working in these areas you’re doing so much more than building houses — you’re rebuilding communities,” he said.

“I would encourage employees, apprentices and trainees to take up the extra financial support on offer.

“The resilience of these communities has shone through and rebuilding is another important step in their healing.”

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