A prestigious NSW Coalition Government scholarship program will lend a helping hand to five Cootamundra apprentices facing hardship in their study, boosting their budget to ensure they complete their trade and add to the State’s skilled workforce.
Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the Bert Evans Apprentice Scholarships provide first-year apprentices with up to $15,000 over three years, as part of the NSW Government’s commitment to strengthening pathways to vocational education and training.
“The Bert Evans Apprentice Scholarships program is about backing apprentices in the region by giving them a helping hand to complete their training, gain a qualification and secure a brighter future,” Ms Cooke said.
“I had the opportunity to catch up recently with one of the successful recipients Joshua Karchinsky who is at the end of his first year as an apprentice electrician.”
Joshua Karchinsky from Boorowa is one of five local recipients under this program employed by Spectrum Solar and Electrical.
“This scholarship helps me purchase the tools and equipment which is needed for my trade and I am very grateful,” Mr Karchinsky said.
The NSW Coalition Government launched the Bert Evans Apprentice Scholarships in 2014 to support apprentices who demonstrate a high aptitude for vocational education and training and are committed to their on the job and formal training.
The scholarship program is named in honour of the late Bert Evans AO, a passionate advocate of vocational education for more than 30 years.
Minister for Skills and Training Alister Henskens said this year’s program would provide assistance to 146 apprentices from all walks of life so that they can ply their skills and trade in the workforce.
“Apprenticeships are a critical part of ensuring NSW has a pipeline of skilled and job-ready workers, but we also understand the financial challenges that can arise for apprentices while completing a trade,” Mr Henskens said.
“Whether it is to purchase new tools, cover fuel and car maintenance costs or pay for additional training materials, these scholarships have helped people overcome personal barriers to finish their apprenticeships and go onto rewarding careers.”