What Is Government Funded training?
Government funding for education and training has been around the school, VET and Higher Education system for a long while. It’s pretty well understood that Governments (State and Federal) take money from the general public and businesses in the form of taxes and levies, then redistribute it to areas such as Health, Defence, Education, Social Security, etc.
In the simplest term, the Federal Government collects the money, and passes on (most of) it to the States to distribute to areas they believe meet their state and local community needs. The Feds also keep some to distribute directly through Federal schemes such as the Apprenticeship
It has been (mostly) a fairly stable system, which was well understood by most of the people involved in the training industry, and more importantly the people (employers and trainees) who would benefit from it.
But the Federal and State responses to COVID (JobTrainer), has, among other initiatives, diverted a lot of money to the education sector, in a bid to help employers and individuals who might have been affected re-skill to prepare them for the post-COVID world.
While this stimulus is welcome and will no doubt lead to an upsurge in training, it is still a confusing mire of different programs targeted at different sectors with different impacts. And it has taken a while for people to get their heads around it.
What Government Funded Programs Are Available?
There are basically two arms to the funding support;
A: Federal program
The Federal Government program is titled “Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements”, which, despite the title, applies to Traineeships as well.
It has committed to 100,000 training places which can be used by businesses to enrol new workers in (any) traineeship qualification, and existing workers in a limited range of trades-based qualifications.
If you’d like to find out more about boosting apprenticeship commencements, the Department of Education and Self Employment has more information.
The program pays 50% of a trainees wage, up to $7,000 per quarter. It has run since October 1 2020, and will finish at the end of September 2021.
BUT, after a slow start, it is anticipated that the 100,000 places will all be taken up by end February 2021 – so if this is of interest to you, get in touch with an Apprenticeship Provider as soon as possible – see link below
This program needs an Australian Apprenticeship Network Provider as the go-between. See here to contact one of these organisations;
The attraction of this program is it provides up to $20,000 in wage subsidies direct to the employer.
B: State programs
The States each have their own version of JobTrainer, which have been adapted to specific State requirements and circumstances.
The State versions do not typically provide direct subsidies to employers, but instead provide subsidies to Training Organisations to ensure that they provide reduced-fee training to the groups the State believes will benefit most.
So the State scheme allows employers and individuals to engage in training at far cheaper rates than normal.
For the most part, the State programs are also targeted at younger workers, offering them a chance to re-skill and tread a different career path. Broadly, to take advantage of the JobTrainer schemes, the individual must be;
- 17-24 years old, OR
- Unemployed, OR
- In receipt of some Commonwealth benefits
The program in each State operates in conjunction with the “normal” State-funded training support programs, which have been operating for some years. While there are significant differences in implementation between each State, in broad they are all trying to provide increased skills across the community by subsidising TAFEs or Private RTOs sufficiently for them to be able to offer training in the 1,318 qualifications currently on the National Register.
For Victorian, please check here.
For NSW, please check here.
So how do I get onboard?
By all means contact TME to get a deeper brief if you need to, but, if you as an Employer want to see if you qualify for the Federal Program (see the document to download at https://www.dese.gov.au/uncategorised/resources/boosting-apprenticeships-commencements-questions-and-answers), then get in touch with an Apprenticeship Centre as soon as possible. You may or may not make the wage subsidy program before the cutoff, but there are significant other benefits
But if you “miss” the wage subsidy, there are still significant benefits in considering traineeships or apprenticeships for your staff, and again the Apprenticeship Centre can give you some more details to help you grow your business in the right direction.
Secondly, if your business doesn’t qualify for the Federal program, consider if State subsidised training might provide your staff with the skills you need to grow them, as well as the business. There are many options and programs available, and if you want to discuss them, give us a ring – and find out why we describe ourselves as “the training architects”.