At both state and federal level, Australian Government has committed to skilling the national workforce. This commitment is backed by a comprehensive framework of funding schemes and incentive opportunities.
Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) are tasked with delivering quality vocational training to businesses and individuals, typically at certificate and diploma level. An important role of any effective RTO is to inform clients about funding and incentive opportunities for which they are eligible.
As a leading RTO, Upskilled carefully monitors ongoing changes to the Australian funding landscape. We also take a lead role in negotiating the administrative processes around applying for funding or incentives. Given the overlapping range of state and federal opportunities that exist, these processes can be complex.
Funding describes a situation when Government directly pays an RTO for training; funding is provided on a per-student basis, with a small contribution for training coming from the student. The student and/or their employer may also attract other benefits, such as payroll tax deductions and transport concessions. An example of funding is the User Choice scheme.
Incentive describes a situation where Government directly pays an employer, typically for nationally recognised qualifications delivered by an RTO to one of their employees. An example of this is an Apprenticeship or Traineeship.
There are a number of core Funding and incentives initiatives that apply Nationally across all States and Territories.
The Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program (AAIP) offers traineeships to current workers and new entrant employees. Commonwealth incentives are paid directly to employers. In recent times, the Federal Government has drastically reduced the number of qualifications eligible under an Apprenticeship or Traineeship.
User Choice is applied differently in each state and territory, according to regional and industry needs. It disburses directly funds to RTOs, and works closely with Australian Apprenticeships Centres so that students can select the RTO that best suits their needs. User Choice allows students to negotiate key aspects of training in terms of location, method, and time-frame.
A quick glance at Australia’s funding framework reveals a number of state-based schemes.
In NSW, the Smart and Skilled scheme offers residents access to funded skills training in order to answer strategic needs, both in industry and the wider community. The scheme extends from Certificate III qualifications through to higher level qualifications.
The Certificate III Guarantee provides subsidised training places for QLD residents, up to and including a first Certificate III qualification.
In addition, Queenslanders also have access to the Higher Level Skills Program, providing access to one subsidised training place in selected certificate IV level and above qualifications or priority skills sets.
The Victorian Skills Guarantee provides for an unlimited number of government-subsidised training places to Victorian residents who meet eligibility criteria.
For those living or working in the ACT, the Skilled Capital Program provides access to high quality training in areas of skills need to maximise employment opportunities
For WA residents, the Future Skills Program guarantees subsidised training in high priority courses, where training places are available.
Finally, South Australia have the WorkReady Program, bringing together funding for training, employment and skills activities.
These are just some of the varying State-based funding programs currently available. The landscape is constantly changing so I urge you to get in touch with the team at Upskilled who can inform you of any opportunities that might be suited to you or your business.
The Federal Government administers a number of Financial Assistance programs through Centrelink. Where applicable, RTOs such as Upskilled support the administrative aspects of accessing Youth Allowance, Austudy, and Abstudy in the course of undertaking Vocational Education & Training.
Eligibility for funding and incentives is generally restricted to Australian Citizens, Permanent Residents, and NZ Passport holders with more than 6 months residence. Further eligibility requirements differ between schemes, with varying degrees of complexity.
For this reason, we recommend you contact Upskilled and explore your options. You can complete an eligibility inquiry online, or call us on 1300 009 924 and chat with one of our dedicated education managers. With over 90 qualifications offered nation-wide, and more than 12,000 student commencements in the past 5 years, Upskilled is the leading choice for individuals who want to maximise their career outcomes via quality vocational training that is highly flexible, fully supported, and nationally recognised.