Greg Miller

Program to offer free education and training

APPLICATIONS for 200,000 free vocational education and training places are open under the NSW Government's Smart and Skilled fee-free scholarship program.

Member for Coffs Harbour, Andrew Fraser, said the program was the result of the NSW Government taking action to address youth unemployment and create a productive local economy.

"The NSW Government is providing 200,000 free training places over the next four years to help young people gain the skills and qualifications they need to secure a job," Mr Fraser said.

"Applications for fee-free scholarships have opened from July 1 for young people, aged 15 to 30, who receive benefits such as a Newstart Allowance or a Youth Allowance.

"The program will allow 200,000 disadvantaged young people to go to TAFE or other vocational education and training providers without paying a single cent in student fees, with priority given to residents of social housing.

"We are investing in training and supporting those in our community who can benefit most from gaining a qualification.

"By expanding opportunities for free training under Smart and Skilled, we're making it easier for people to gain the skills that are in demand and providing our local employers with the skilled workers they need."

People who meet Smart and Skilled Fee-Free Scholarship eligibility criteria can choose from more than 580 qualifications from Certificate I to Certificate IV level, including apprenticeships and traineeships, and will be able complete their training without paying a student fee.

"Eligible students can choose the Smart and Skilled course and approved training provider that best meets their needs."

More than 135 contracted training providers in our region, including TAFE NSW Institutes and private and community training organisations, are able to provide fee-free training under Smart and Skilled.

For more information on Smart and Skilled Fee Free Scholarships visit smartandskilled.nsw.gov.au or phone State Training Services on 1300 772 104.



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