Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme applicants and trainees – Fact sheet 179

The Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme (CRTS) was established to offer vocational or academic training to men and women who had served with the Australian armed services during World War II. Provided they had served for a minimum of six months and had been honourably discharged ex-servicemen and women were eligible to apply for training under the CRTS if:

  • they could not return to their pre-war occupation because of an incapacity suffered due to the war;
  • they enlisted or were called up before they turned 21 and they were suitable for professional or vocational training;
  • they required a refresher course, or wished to complete a course interrupted by service;
  • they were self-employed and were unable to resume their business; or
  • they displayed conspicuous ability during their war service and were suitable for professional or vocational training.

The CRTS commenced in March 1944, and applications were received until 30 June 1950. By the time the final acceptances had been finalised in 1951 over 300,000 people had been approved to undertake full time or part time training under the Scheme. The Scheme provided for the payment of tuition and other fees, and included a living allowance for those undertaking full time training.

Records relating to CRTS applicants and trainees

Records relating to applicants for CRTS assistance are held by a number of offices of the Archives. Records about individuals may include information such as name, address, date and place of birth, marital status, dates of service, service number, and training required.

Records of CRTS trainees held in Sydney

The most informative records on trainees held by the Archives in Sydney are the trainees' history cards for NSW participants in the accession SP398. These records are divided into part time male (series 2), part time female (series 3), full time male (series 4), full time female (series 5), special benefit male (series 6), and special benefit female (series 7). Note that 'female' includes war widows who were approved for training. Reference staff will assist you identifying records you wish to use.

The Sydney office also holds records about participants in the scheme from South Australia.

These and other records of the CRTS held in Sydney are listed in the table below.

NSW applicants

 Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number
SeriesHistory/index cards1944–50C1131
SeriesHistory cards of trainees1944–54SP398/2
SeriesHistory cards of trainees1944–54SP398/3
SeriesHistory cards of trainees1944–54SP398/4
SeriesHistory cards of trainees1944–54SP398/5
ItemHistory cards of trainees1944–54SP398/6
SeriesHistory cards of trainees1944–54SP398/7
SeriesCode books to CRTS punched cards system1949SP398/1

South Australian applicants

 Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number
SeriesTrainee files1944–55AP3/4
SeriesTrainees personal files1944–52AP48/2
SeriesAlphabetical list of assisted trainees1965D346

Records held in other offices

Records of trainees under the CRTS are also held by the National Archives in Melbourne (holdings include records for Victorian and Tasmanian applicants), Brisbane, Perth and Hobart. Details of the major holdings are included in the table below.

Melbourne – Victorian applicants

 Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number
SeriesStudent record cards1944–54B2506
SeriesStudent files1944–54B2510
SeriesRegistration cards1944–56B5579
SeriesTrainee history cards1944–53MT123/1
SeriesTrainee history cards1944–53MT165/1
SeriesApplicant history cards1944–53MT665/1

Tasmanian applicants

 Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number
SeriesStudent files1944–53B2499
SeriesStudent record cards1944–53B2501

Brisbane – Queensland applicants

 Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number
SeriesHistory/index cards, 1939–45 War1945–51BP775/1
SeriesTrainee history cards1946–52BP773/1
SeriesHistory and index cards for part and full time trainees1946–54BP774/1

Perth – Western Australian applicants

Hobart – Tasmanian applicants

 Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number
SeriesTrainee history cards1944–62P2745
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