Release type: Media Release


Supporting NRL players gain real skills for real careers


Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Minister for Small and Family Business, Skills and Vocational Education

The Australian Government will partner with the National Rugby League to encourage more Australians to pursue career pathways through Vocational Education and Training (VET) and Australian Apprenticeships.

Minister for Small and Family Business, Skills and Vocational Education, Senator Michaelia Cash today announced the Government is providing additional support for the NRL’s VET Apprenticeship Program.

“I’m thrilled to announce the Government is committing $350,000 in the NRL’s VET Apprenticeship Program for a further year, which will work to encourage an additional 20,000 Australians to engage in VET as a pathway to employment,” Minister Cash said.

“This funding will support the NRL’s work to provide player and community education, including NRL VET Ambassadors who continue to share their success stories and promote the value of Australian Apprenticeships and VET qualifications throughout the country.

“I look forward to the NRL continuing to raise the status of VET and further promote real skills for real careers.”

Minister Cash, alongside Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace and Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien, joined emerging NRL players at the 2019 Justin Hodges Cup on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast to announce the Government’s funding commitment.

The Cup is an opportunity for the NRL to showcase to secondary school students, parents, and school staff the many ways emerging players can succeed through vocational education and training.

NRL VET Ambassadors Andrew Ryan and Ray Thompson attended the event, and encouraged young players to consider the benefits from having education and employment outside the game.

Andrew Ryan has completed a trade certificate as a landscaper, and has a Diploma in Marketing and a Sports Management degree, while Ray Thompson completed a Certificate III in Plumbing and a Diploma in Education.

“VET delivers flexible, work-ready training, so athletes can get the most out of their qualifications, while at the same time continuing to get the most out of their playing careers,” Minister Cash said.

“Having a nationally-recognised qualification will ensure players are gaining skills that can take them anywhere and set them up on the road to success.”

For more information on VET pathways visit: