Free Apprentice or Trainee Tuition!

Did you know that your new apprentice or trainee’s tuition could cost you nothing?

The Australian government, in conjunction with the Commonwealth Australian Apprenticeship System, has a public funding program called User Choice.  This program provides funding to training providers to deliver nationally recognised, accredited, entry-level training to apprentices and trainees.

What does this mean for employers?

Are you looking to employ a new apprentice or trainee?  You could choose your preferred training provider to deliver the off-the-job training for your apprentice or trainee, and not pay a thing!  The User Choice program provides funding to the training provider for you!

Who qualifies for funding?

The User Choice program specifically targets the occupational outcomes of the apprenticeship or traineeship.  Funding priority (below) determines the level of funding that will be provided:

Priority One (100 per cent subsidised) – Priority One is those qualifications which lead to occupations identified as critical priorities as identified in the *Queensland Skill Shortage List. All School-based Apprenticeships and Traineeships and participants from **priority population groups, excluding Priority Four and Unfunded qualifications, will be funded as Priority One.

Priority Two (75 per cent subsidised) – Priority Two is those qualifications which lead to occupations not on the Queensland Skill Shortage List but are identified as high priorities which demonstrate a high level of occupational links with skills development, and are required to meet legislative requirements related to skills.

Priority Three (50 per cent subsidised) – Priority Three is those qualifications which lead to occupations not on the Queensland Skill Shortage List but are identified as medium priorities which demonstrate a lower level of occupational links, and are not required to meet legislative requirements related to skills.

Priority Four (25 per cent subsidised) – Priority Four is those qualifications which lead to non-entry level occupations and provide a key workforce development opportunity for existing workers and industry.  These qualifications will be funded under User Choice arrangements as a component of the Productivity Places Program, a joint Commonwealth and Queensland Government initiative.

**such as individuals of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin, individuals from a non-English speaking background and individuals with a disability, impairment or long-term condition.

Need more incentive?

If you directly employ an Australian Apprentice, your business may be eligible for government financial incentives!

The Australian Government has introduced incentives of up $4000 for eligible employers.

It’s good news for your Apprentice as well!  From 1 January 2011, 5 tax-exempt payments totaling $5,500 will be paid to your apprentice over the duration of their apprenticeship.  These payments assist Apprentices with the costs of training, purchasing relevant tools and other costs associated with their Apprenticeship.

Eligible Apprentices are those undertaking a Certificate III or IV in a qualification that leads to an occupation listed on the National Skills Needs List (visit the site for details), or those undertaking an eligible Agriculture or Horticulture qualification.

Where to from here?

1. Employ your apprentice (either someone you have in mind already, advertise, or contact an Employment Services Organisation such as Max Employment, Tursa or Centacare to find one for you)

2. Contact an Australian Government funded Apprenticeship Centre, such as MEGT, Busy at Work or Mission Australia, who are designed to assist employers with the processes, procedures and paperwork involved in employing an Australian Apprentice.

3. Choose a Registered Training Organisation for your apprentice to enrol into their studies with, and complete your incentive claim form – your Apprenticeship Centre can assist you with this and will facilitate payment to you and your Apprentice throughout the various stages of the contract.

The Australian Government has an enormous amount of funding available, targeted at furthering the education, employability and future of Australians.  So take advantage!

For a list of eligible qualifications on the *Queensland Skills Shortage List, please email RAM Training Services at:

For further information, see sites such as: or

Written by Shenoa Gittins

Shenoa is the Operations Manager and co-owner of RAM Training Services.
You can connect with Shenoa Gittins via Google+ and Facebook.


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