1,000 apprentices to join NSW public sector workforce by 2026

The NSW budget will fund departments, state owned corporations and other public service employers $93.5 million to take on 1,000 new trainees.

The measure is designed to address skills shortages in transport, electricity, water, IT and cyber security and provide a pipeline of skilled government workers.

It will provide the opportunity for agencies that don’t traditionally hire apprentices and trainees, as well as those that do, to take on 500 apprentices and 500 trainees, the government says.

Training Service NSW will work with TAFE NSW and other providers on the scheme.

The 2023-24 Budget, handed down on Tuesday, also contains a $3.6 billion Essential Services Fund to cover pay increases for frontline public sector workers, including nurses, paramedics, health workers, police, firefighters, prison officers, teachers and child protection officers.

The funding represents attempts by the state government to retain and recruit public servants, along with the scrapping of the public sector wages cap and a 4 per cent pay rise.

The government has also offered teachers a pay deal which will see the starting salary for NSW teacher increase to $85,000 and the salary for a top of the scale teacher go up to $122,100.

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