Port Macquarie local, Drew Prestidge, is one of 50 recipients of the Bert Evans Scholarship across New South Wales. The Scholarship is awarded by the Department of Industry to apprentices facing financial hardship while pursuing trade qualifications. The funding assists apprentices with trade related costs such as buying tools or their travel to on-the-job training.

VERTO chief executive, Ron Maxwell, said VERTO was proud to support Drew Prestidge in his efforts to complete his Certificate III in Bricklaying with his employer, A.J Bricks.

"As an Indigenous apprentice working in a skills shortage area, Drew Prestidge is a deserving recipient.

"I would like to personally congratulate both Drew and A.J Bricks on this wonderful achievement," Mr Maxwell said.

According to the Department of Industry, the Bert Evans Scholarship is particularly important as scholarship recipients are more likely to complete their apprenticeships with figures showing their retention rate at 83 per cent.

Further, the retention rate for female apprentices benefiting from the scholarships sits at more than 87 per cent.

For more information, please visit www.industry.nsw.gov.au