industry skills fund

Government Funded Training

Skills Advice

If you are a micro, small or medium individual business that is eligible for the Industry Skills Fund (the Fund) and could benefit from support to determine the training solution that will help your business grow, you may be referred to Skills Advice. This service will provide tailored advice and training recommendations to increase the likelihood of your business meeting its growth objective.

Skills advice is a service delivered free of charge to eligible businesses through a nation-wide network of expert Skills Advisers.

If referred for skills advice, an Industry Skills Fund skills adviser will contact you within two weeks to arrange a time to engage with you​. The Skills Adviser will assist you to identify the skills your business needs to access your growth opportunity, and provide recommendations to ensure your workforce has the required skills.

Recommendations will be given in the following categories:

  • Business growth training – training activities required for you to increase competitiveness for identified growth opportunities.
  • Business growth training support services – other activities you can complete to increase the impact of business growth training outcomes.

Skills Advisers may recommend training activities to improve normal day-to-day business operations. These training activities won’t be eligible for an Industry Skills Fund Training Grant.

If you receive, and are interested in, implementing recommendations in the ‘Business growth training’ and/or ‘Business growth training support services’ categories and would like some financial help, you can apply for a Training Grant.

The only way you will be able to access skills advice is by submitting an enquiry directly to the fund. Organisations claiming to be offering skills advice that do not direct you to make an enquiry with the fund are not providing skills advice for the fund.

Training Grant

The Training Grant helps you with the cost of training, including:

  • nationally recognised vocational education and training, including full qualifications and skill sets;
  • training that is accredited through state and territory systems, including Language, Literacy and Numeracy training;
  • training that is identifiable, transferrable by a learner and builds the capability of a learner;
  • high quality, innovative or tailored training that may not yet be part of a training package or accredited course. This can include different combinations of training modules to form new skill sets and training tailored to meet specific business needs;
  • mentoring directly relating to training; and
  • training required to navigate export barriers and/or access foreign markets.

The Training Grant only covers costs directly attributed to the delivery of the training.

You must not start any training activities (including paying for or attending courses) until the Department of Education and Training has advised you that your Industry Skills Fund application has been formally approved.

The types of training that are not eligible include:

  • training that allows a business to comply with legislative and other regulatory requirements relating to normal day to day business operations;
  • training considered part of what a well-managed business should provide to its workforce, through normal day to day operations;
  • training that is available to businesses through the state and territory Vocational Education and Training systems that are subsidised for employees;
  • training that is delivered by the applicant, lead member, or individual member of a consortium; or training delivered by a related party of the applicant, lead member or member of a consortium will not be deemed eligible expenditure. Related parties include:  companies/organisations with common shareholdings or directorship; and/or individuals, employees or immediate family related to the applicant; and
  • consultancy and related activities that do not build capability of a learner to the satisfaction of the Programme Delegate.

Note:  To apply for a Training Grant you must already be aware of the following:

  • a business growth opportunity;
  • a related skills need; and
  • training solution to meet that need.

If you are not aware of one or more of these, you may be referred to Industry Skills Fund skills advice where you will be assisted by an expert Skills Adviser to identify your skills needs and solutions. If you receive recommendations to undertake eligible training as a result of receiving Skills Advice, you may then choose to apply for the Training Grant.

Co-contribution Model

If successful in applying for an Industry Skills Fund Training Grant, the amount you will have to co-contribute will depend on how many Full Time Equivalent (FTE) employees you have.

You’ll be required to pay the following percentage of the total project cost:

  • Micro Business (0 – 4 FTE employees) – 25%
  • Small Business (5 – 19 FTE employees) – 34%
  • Medium Business (20 – 199 FTE employees) – 50%
  • Large Business (200+ FTE employees) – 75%

Co-contribution amounts for businesses operating in or seeking to expand into Northern Australia are reduced from 1 September 2015. By reducing co-contributions, the Australian Government is lowering the costs to businesses in or expanding into the north by investing in the skills of the workforce.

  • Micro, Small and Medium Businesses (0-199 FTE employees) – 25%
  • Large Business (200+ FTE employees) – 50%

Co-contributions must be in cash. In-kind contributions will not be accepted.

Note:  Co-contribution requirements do not apply to Industry Skills Fund Skills Advice, as this is delivered free of charge to eligible businesses.

Business Growth Opportunities

The fund primarily targets Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), including micro businesses (0 to 4 employees), which plan to upskill and reskill their workforces to better position themselves for growth opportunities.

Your business or consortium will be considered as ‘positioning for growth’ if you are pursuing new business opportunities that fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • diversifying into new or emerging markets and/or;
  • adopting new or emerging technologies and/or;
  • entering export markets for the first time and/or;
  • responding to significant new domestic market opportunities and/or;
  • repositioning because of market driven structural adjustment.

Assessment of Applications

All eligible applications are assessed on a competitive basis against all fund Merit Criteria.

All applications and funding proposals must address the merit criteria. The strongest applications will be granted funding. Information on the merit criteria, can be found in the Customer Information Guide, with further detail available in the Merit Assessment Guide.

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