When Matt MacDonald decided to take on an electrician’s apprenticeship in Deniliquin after finishing school, the community gave him a helping hand.
Even though the job was in his home town Matt, like other apprentices, still had expenses such as purchasing his tools of the trade.
Luckily for young people like Matt, the Edward River Country Education Fund (ERCF) is there to assist with costs. He and other local students and apprentices received a grant for $1000 as part of the ERCF’s round of funding in 2017.
Applications for the 2018 round close on Monday, January 29.
‘‘With the grant I was able to pay for my tools which are essential for the job,’’ said Matt, who is an apprentice with Marshall Electrical.
‘‘It also helped when going to trade school with the travel once a month to Wagga and then accommodation.
‘‘Without the help of the fund I would’ve had to dip into my savings and probably ask my parents out for help, or try and find some other alternative.
‘‘I’m very grateful for the fund supporting me, and it’s great that it still helps others.’’
The ERCF is a community initiative that has been running for about five years.
Grants are given to local youth who are undertaking a broad range of education and career pursuits. These include university students, apprentices, trainees, cadets and other forms of degrees, diplomas and certificate level studies.
Funds used to support students have been raised from local shires, businesses and individuals within the community who have made generous donations to support applicants.
‘‘It helps recipients with finances and contributes to achieving their career goals like Matt,’’ CEF committee member Bruce Simpson said.
‘‘We encourage parents and students to apply.’’
Applicants must be aged 16 to 25 to be eligible to apply. Recipients are not selected on academic success, but via four criteria.
As well as age, these include:
■ That you have a demonstrated financial need;
■ That you have shown commitment to achieving your goals; and
■ That you have the ability to achieve your goals.
Students in the Deniliquin, Conargo, Blighty, Mayrung, Pretty Pine, Wanganella and Booroorban areas are eligible to apply.
Applications close Monday.
You can apply online at www.cef.org.au.
~ Abbey Flanagan