Written on the 3 July 2015 by Kevin Conolly

Kevin Conolly MP, Member for Riverstone is encouraging eligible young people in the Riverstone electorate to apply for the Smart and Skilled fee free scholarship program which opened on the 1 July.

Mr Conolly said "The program will allow 200,000 disadvantaged young people, aged 15 to 30, who receive benefits such as Newstart Allowance or a Youth Allowance to go to TAFE or other vocational education and training providers without paying fees."

"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", said Mr Conolly.

People who meet Smart and Skilled Fee-Free Scholarship eligibility criteria (1) 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.

For more information on Smart and Skilled Fee Free Scholarships, including eligibility, see the 'for students' pages at or contact State Training Services on 1300 772 104 or

(1) Editors' notes:
To be eligible for a Smart and Skilled Fee-Free Scholarship, the student must commence training in a Smart and Skilled course, on or after, 1 July 2015, be eligible for a concession fee, and meet the eligibility criteria for a government training place under Smart and Skilled.

Smart and Skilled personal and program eligibility

  • no longer at school
  • living or working in NSW
  • an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, Australian permanent humanitarian visa holder or New Zealand citizen
  • have not completed a Certificate IV or higher-level qualification (except for Apprenticeships and Traineeships which are available regardless of previous qualifications held)

Smart and Skilled Fee-Free Scholarship eligibility

  • Studying a Certificate I Certificate IV level qualification on the NSW Skills List (see course finder at
  • Aged between 15 and 30 years old at the start of training
  • Eligible for a Smart and Skilled concession fee.

Smart and Skilled concession fee eligibility
A student must be either a Commonwealth Welfare recipient or the dependant of a Commonwealth Welfare recipient (see table below), or a student with a disability, or the dependant of a disability support pension recipient, who is undertaking a second qualification in a single calendar year and who has received a fee exemption for the first qualification.

Commonwealth benefits and allowances

  • Age Pension Austudy
  • Carer Payment (see comment below)
  • Disability Support Pension
  • Exceptional Circumstances Relief Payment
  • Farm Household Allowance
  • Family Tax Benefit Part A (maximum rate)
  • Parenting Payment (Single)
  • Newstart Allowance
  • Special Benefit
  • Sickness Allowance
  • Veterans' Children Education Scheme
  • Veterans' Affairs Pensions
  • Widow B Pension
  • Widow Allowance
  • Youth Allowance
  • Wife Pension
  • A NSW Apprentice on a Newstart Allowance is not eligible for a concession fee.
  • A NSW New Entrant Trainee on a Newstart Allowance is not eligible for a concession fee.
  • The Carer Payment is a specific benefit paid by the Commonwealth, this category does not include the Carer Allowance or Carer Adjustment Payment.

Author: Kevin Conolly


I am honoured to have been elected as your Parliamentary representative in my capacity as the Member for Riverstone.

As your voice in the NSW Parliament, I will fight tirelessly for the local and state issues that affect you.

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I am committed to working tirelessly to deliver the infrastructure and services needed in our local area.

You can also use this website to contact me if you have any questions, concerns or views that you might like to raise with me.

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