More than 50,000 regional apprentices and trainees can now apply for the NSW Nationals’ $250 Regional Apprentice and University Student Travel Card.
The initiative will help ease budget pressures for apprentices, trainees, and university students in the bush, covering the cost of fuel, taxis, and public transport.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the card was a win for apprentices and trainees hard at work in restaurants, childcare centres, and on farms and construction sites across regional NSW.
“It’s a $250 boost that will ease the cost of filling up the tank or catching transport to work or class for thousands of people working towards their future career,” Mr Toole said.
“This is not just an investment that is putting fuel in the tank of apprentices and trainees now. This is an investment that is fuelling the training of the workforce our regional businesses need for the future.
“Our Regional Seniors Travel Card has proven successful, delivering more than one million cards and injecting $196 million into regional economies since its launch in 2019, and we believe this card will be just as successful.”
Nationals’ Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said eligible apprentices and trainees who apply will receive a $250 prepaid debit card within weeks.
“The NSW Nationals want to get this $250 in the back pockets of our apprentices and trainees to help lower the costs of travel and boost their budgets,” Mr Farraway said.
“Last month we launched a pilot of the card in Dubbo which allowed us to fine-tune the application process ahead of today.
“Our Government has built a strong economy so we can roll out budget boosting initiatives just like this, supporting country people with the rising cost of living will keep our state moving.”
Luke Prentice, who was one of a group of apprentices and trainees who took part in a trial roll out of the card in Dubbo last month said he has already seen the benefits of the initiative.
“As part of the Dubbo trial I received my card in January which was perfect timing for me and my young family as the extra $250 help coming soon after Christmas was much appreciated,” Mr Prentice said.
“I have used my card to pay for fuel for my vehicle which I use to get to work and training as an apprentice electrician. With fuel prices high at present, among the other costs of living, the card is a welcome boost to our budget.”
Applications for university students will open from the end of April when enrolments are confirmed. Apprentices and trainees have until 30 November to apply for the 2023 card.
The initiative will run as a two-year trial until the end of 2024.
More details about eligibility and how to apply can be found at: www.service.nsw.gov.au/regional-apprentice-and-university-student-travel-card