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This is not advice. Items herein are general comments only and do not constitute or convey advice per se. The information contained in these articles is for guidance only and should not be relied upon without obtaining professional advice having regard to your direct circumstances.


Take advantage of Government-funded traineeships

Employees often rate learning new skills as a key reason for staying with a business. There are a number of government programs, which can help subsidise training costs.

Helping employees achieve workplace qualifications is a time-efficient and cost-effective way for a business to boost performance and productivity levels. It is also increasingly important for businesses that need to employ people with specific qualifications.

There are a number of government training programs available to businesses. Known as accredited training, traineeships or vocational education, such courses combine structured workplace training with paid employment and are usually completed in one or two years.

The courses vary from one industry to another, but all will include the following:

Paid employment under an appropriate industrial arrangement
• A training agreement that is signed by both the employer and trainee, and registered with the relevant state department of education and training
• A training program, delivered by a registered training organisation (RTO), which meets the requirements of a declared traineeship and leads to a nationally recognised qualification.

State Governments pay for the training of new entrants and there are payroll tax exemptions in NSW, Qld and SA. Any business that employs a trainee is required to deliver training, pay wages and any entitlements, provide a safe working environment, and release the trainee from work duties to participate in training.

Getting started

The first step is choosing an RTO to manage the training. RTOs are providing and assessors of nationally recognised training. All registered training organisations are entered into the National Training Information Service (NTIS) database listing their details and scope of registration (

Only RTOs can issue nationally recognised qualifications. In order to become registered, training providers must meet the Australian Quality Training Framework 2007 standards. This ensures the quality of Vocational Education and Training services throughout Australia.

RTOs include TAFE colleges, community education providers, private providers, schools, higher education institutions, commercial and enterprise institutions, and other organisations that meet registration requirements.

The provider can assess whether an employee is eligible for a traineeship, and help select a traineeship that best suits the skills of the employee and needs of the business.

They will also:
• Coordinate and register the required documentation
• Plan the training program. The plan outlines the type of training the trainee needs to do; who will deliver it; when and where it will be done; and when and how it will be assessed
• Supply the trainee work book and training schedule; and
• Undertake the training.

To ensure the business receives all the funding it is eligible for, it is essential to monitor due dates for funding and submit claim forms. There are organisations that offer a full administrative service, including dealing with the relevant Government Agencies and RTOs.

The funding and any other incentives received from the government, depend on a number of criteria, including how long the trainee has been employed, and what other qualifications they have. The main funding arrangements for training up to Certificate III level are:

Scenario 1

Trainee has been employed less than three months full-time or 12 months part-time, and has no prior qualifications of Certificate III or above.

The business may be eligible for:
1. Commonwealth Government incentive of up to $4400; and
2. Training paid for by the State Government but business will be responsible for a $358 administration fee to the Training Provider.

Scenario 2

Trainee has been employed more than three months full-time or 12 months part-time, and has no prior qualifications of Certificate III or above.

If the traineeship is two years or longer, the business may be eligible for Commonwealth Government incentive of up to $4400, but will not receive training funds. The training fee will be negotiated with the Training Provider but is normally half of the Government incentive.

Scenario 3

Trainee has been employed more than three months full-time or 12 months part-time, and has prior qualifications of Certificate III or above.

The business is not only eligible for Commonwealth Government incentives but may receive the cost of training from the State Government. A $350 administration fee is payable to the Training Provider.

By Matthew Gardiner
February 2008 Edition of My Business


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