Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson has congratulated four first-year NSW apprentices from the region who will receive a $15,000 Bert Evans Scholarship from the NSW Nationals in Government to support their vocational education and training (VET).

Mr Anderson said the scholarships worth $5000 each year over three years would help overcome financial challenges and help the students complete their apprenticeships.

“This is fantastic news for these young apprentices and it will really make a difference to their learning,” Mr Anderson said.

“More and more students, parents and employers are recognising the value of VET and we want to make sure financial hardship is no barrier to people getting the skills they need.

“Regionally-based apprentices, students with a disability, Aboriginal apprentices and women in non-traditional trades are all represented in the scholarship pool and will benefit from this financial support.

“Some people are the sole supporters of their family and have difficulty buying tools for their trade while others travel hundreds of kilometres just to attend their formal training.”

“I would like to remind young people who are preparing to leave school that there are many opportunities through the TAFE network.”

There are free courses covering areas with key skills shortages, such as aged care, childcare, Information and Communication Technology and construction.

The success of the Bert Evans Apprentice Scholarship program is reflected in the completion rate of 80 per cent among recipients.

The scholarship program is named in honour of the late Bert Evans AO who was a passionate advocate for apprenticeships and the VET sector for more than 30 years.