♦  Apprentice and Trainee Re-engagement Register

  • The Apprentice and Trainee Re-engagement Register aims to connect apprentices and trainees who have lost their jobs with with potential employers. The register is open to: apprentices and trainees who were in a training contract at 1 March 2020 with a small business employer or small business host employer (with a Group Training Organisation or GTO) and who have since lost their jobs; and any business, organisation, and GTO with an apprentice or trainee vacancy. The register is being coordinated by the National Apprentice Employment Network (NAEN).

 ♦  Career Transition Assistance program - extended to 30 June 2022

  • The Career Transition Assistance (CTA) program is part of the Australian Government's Mature Age Employment package announced in the 2017-18 federal budget. It aims to help mature age job seekers, who are aged 50 years and older and registered with a jobactive provider, to gain the contemporary skills they need to become more competitive in their local labour market and move into ongoing employment.
  • The CTA Trial program commenced in July 2018 in five regions - Ballarat (VIC), Somerset (QLD), Central West (NSW), Adelaide South (SA), and Perth North (WA) - and became available nationally from 1 July 2019.
  • In April 2020, in response to the COVID-10 pandemic, the Government announced an additional $41,7 million dollars, available from early May 2020 to 30 June 2022 to enable mature workers to access short form, targeted training.

 ♦  Commonwealth Scholarships Program for Young Australians

  • The Commonwealth Training Scholarships for Young Australians aims to provide scholarships to successful applicants of up to $5000 a year to undertake vocational educational and training (VET) in one of 10 regional areas experiencing high youth unemployment. Scholarships target occupations identified in projected growth industries and in-demand occupations within each region. Scholarship recipients complete a vocational education course and a 20-day internship. Employers receive $500 to host the intern and on completion of the course and internship, participants receive a $3000 payment.
  • The 10 regional areas where the scholarships are available are: Grafton and Gosford (New South Wales); Alice Springs (Northern Territory); Maryborough and Townsville (Queensland); Port Pirie (South Australia); Burnie (Tasmania); Shepparton (Victoria); and Wanneroo and Armadale (Western Australia).
  • The scholarships are available to applicants: aged up to 24 years or recently exited from the Australian Defence Force; not in full-time work at the time of applying; living in one of the 10 nominated regional areas; and intend to commence an eligible VET qualification at the Certificate III to Advanced Diploma level, which leads to an eligible occupation.
  • This initiative is part of the Australian Government's Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow package which is aimed at strengthening the vocational education and training sector in response to recommendations made in the Joyce review.

 ♦  Destination Australia Program grants for 2021 scholarships - Round two

  • The Destination Australia Program was first announced as part of the Australian Government's Planning for Australia's Future Population on 20 March 2019. The aim of the Program is to attract and support international and domestic students to study in regional Australia, to grow and develop regional Australian tertiary education providers and offer students a high quality learning experience. The program provides funding to help eligible tertiary education providers (higher education and vocational education and training providers with campuses in regional Australia) offer scholarships of up to $15 000 a student per year to domestic and international students to study and live in regional Australia.
  • Round one offered 1180 scholarships worth $19.5 million to study at a regional university or vocational education provider in 2020. Round two is expected to increase the number of scholarships by 250, with funding of $4 million a year over four years from semester one 2021. The scholarships are open to students to undertake a qualification from a Certificate IV through to a PhD in a regional community.

 ♦  Foundation Skills for Your Future Program

  • The Foundation Skills for Your Future initiative is a $52.5 million (over four years to 30 June 2023) new national program to support eligible individuals develop their language, literacy, numeracy and digital (LLND) skills to help them undertake further education and training, remain in employment or change jobs. The Program provides flexible training options for eligible participants, aimed at up to Certificate II level, to support participant's LLND skills learning needs. Employers or industry organisations seeking to develop the skills of their workforce to meet current and future skills needs can engage with approved Service Providers to develop tailored accredited and/or non-accredited training for their workplace.
  • To be eligible, participants must: be an Australian citizen or permanent resident; aged 15 years and over; have left secondary school education; and be employed OR recently unemployed (within the past nine months) and not be registered with an Australian Government employment service provider.
  • This initiative is part of the Australian Government's Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow package which is aimed at strengthening the vocational education and training sector in response to recommendations made in the Joyce review.

 ♦  Foundation Skills For Your Future Remote Community Pilots

  • The Foundation Skills for Your Future Remote Community Pilots aim to help Australians with language, literacy, numeracy and digital literacy (LLND) skill needs in remote communities. Funding for the program was announced in the 2019-20 budget, with an allocation of $9.9 million dollars over three years, to 30 June 2022. The pilots aim to: improve the LLND skills of community members in the remote communities; identify and develop systemic approaches to LLND skills training delivery in remote communities; and inform future program delivery, new funding arrangements and/or changes to existing programs such as the Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) program. Indigenous service providers will deliver four pilot programs, one each in Northern Queensland, the Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia. To be eligible, participants must: be aged 15 years and over; have left secondary school education; and live in the community.
  • This initiative is part of the Australian Government's Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow package which is aimed at strengthening the vocational education and training sector in response to recommendations made in the Joyce review.

 ♦  Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) exemption

  • Starting from 2 October 2020, a Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) exemption is provided for employer-provided retraining and reskilling, for employees who are redeployed to a different role in the business. Prior to this, FBT was payable if an employer provides training to its employees that is not sufficiently connected to their current employment. The exemption does not extend to retraining acquired by way of a salary packaging arrangement or training provided through Commonwealth supported places at universities, which already receive a benefit.

 ♦  Funding for short online courses

  • On 14 May 2020, the Government announced it will provide $7 million to subsidise 1015 places in 58 new short online courses covering teaching, agriculture, health, science, engineering, clinical psychology, information technology (IT) and languages. Study can take place at Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Level 5 (Diploma) to 9 (Masters Degree). The online courses are offered for six months from May 2020 by 18 universities and non-university higher education providers and cost to students range from $1250 to $2500. Eligible students can defer payment through HECS-HELP.
  • The short courses are aimed at supporting Australians who have lost their jobs or are looking to upskill or retrain in national priority areas. Students who complete an online short course will be awarded either an Undergraduate Certificate or a Graduate Certificate depending on the level of their studies. The Undergraduate Certificate is a new qualification that has been added to the AQF to ensure that people who complete short courses at undergraduate levels of study receive a formally recognised qualification. The Undergraduate Certificate has been developed in response to community and industry need as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

 ♦  Industry Training Hubs

  • Industry training hubs are aimed at supporting school-based vocational education and creating linkages between industry and schools in regions with high youth unemployment. The establishment of industry training hubs in 10 regions across Australia was announced in the 2019-20 federal budget. The industry training hubs trials are expected to: improve opportunities for young people in regions with high youth unemployment; target year 11 and 12 students and provide students with career advice and mentoring; encourage young people to build skills and choose occupations in demand in their region; create better linkages between schools and local industry and reposition vocational education and training as a first choice option; help eliminate persistent high youth unemployment in regional areas.
  • The first industry training hub was launched on 16 March 2020 in Burnie, Tasmania. A second training hub, in Townsville, Queensland, will also commence in 2020. The remaining eight training hubs will start in 2021.

 ♦  Infection Control Training Fund and skill sets

  • The Commonwealth Government together with all State and Territory Governments have established a new $80 million Infection Control Training Fund, with the states and territories matching the $40 million Commonwealth funding. The fund is aimed at fast-tracking fee-free (or low cost) infection control training for workers in customer-facing businesses to minimise the risk of the spread of COVID-19 and support these businesses to re-open safely. An estimated 80,000 workers across industries including retail, food handling, and transport and logistics to undertake this training. Additional training will also be available to increase infection control skill levels in sectors such as aged and disability care.
  • The Australian Government also announced four national infection control skill sets endorsed by COAG Skills Council.  These skill sets offer nationally recognised training to frontline workers in the retail, food handling, and transport and logistics industries. The infection control skill sets are the first national training products developed by the new Australian Industry Skills Emergency Response Sub-Committee in response to COVID-19.

 ♦  JobTrainer fund

  • The $1 billion JobTrainer fund, which will be jointly established with states and territories through the National Partnership Agreement on the JobTrainer Fund, is aimed at helping school leavers and job seekers gain new skills by retraining and upskilling them into sectors with job opportunities. The program is expected to provide up to 340 700 additional training places in areas of identified skill needs. School leavers and job seekers will be able to access free or low cost short and long courses to develop new skills. Public, not-for-profit and private training organisations will all be eligible to apply for funding to provide these courses.
  • The JobTrainer Fund was announced on 16th July 2020 as part of the JobTrainer skills package. The JobTrainer skills package has two components: (1) $1.5 billion to expand and extend the Supporting Apprentices and Trainees initiative; and (2) $500 million investment in the JobTrainer Fund, with matched contribution sought from state and territory governments.

 ♦  Local Jobs Program

  • The $62.8 million Local Jobs Program, announced on 1 September 2020, is part of supporting Australia's economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The program, which will run to 30 June 2022 in 25 regions across Australia, will provide for: 25 Employment Facilitators in these regions; a Local Jobs and Skills Taskforce in each of these regions; a Local Jobs Plan developed for each of these regions; and projects funded through a Local Recovery Fund in each of these regions. The Program aims to support tailored approaches to accelerate reskilling, upskilling and employment across Australia.

 ♦  National Skills Commission

  • The establishment of the National Skills Commission (NSC) was announced in the 2019-20 budget. The Commission provides advice to the Government on Australia's labour market, workforce changes and current and emerging skills needs. Its work includes labour market and workforce analysis, skills forecasting and analysis and vocational education and training (VET) pricing and performance.
  • This initiative is part of the Australian Government's Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow package which is aimed at strengthening the VET sector in response to recommendations made in the Joyce review.

 ♦  PaTH Business Placement Partnerships program

  • The new PaTH Business Placement Partnerships program aims to connect young job seekers to employers with significant workforce needs in growing industries. This program will trial government and industry co-designing employment pathways for young workers using elements of the Youth Jobs PaTH Program and other existing programs and training services.

 ♦  Regional Employment Trials - extended to 30 June 2021

  • The Regional Employment Trials (RET) program was introduced in 10 disadvantaged (in terms of employment opportunities and growth) regions to address employment issues. The program provides grants of between $7500 to $200 000 for employment-related projects such as: pre-apprenticeship placement programs; mentoring programs for job seekers; skilling job seekers for employment in up-coming infrastructure projects; and work experience projects targeting local employment opportunities. The trials began on 1 October 2018 and was due to finish on 30 June 2020.
  • On 26 June 2020, the government announced that the program had been extended for 12 months to allow existing projects affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to be completed.

 ♦  Revitalising TAFE Campuses Across Australia

  • The Revitalising TAFE Campuses Across Australia initiative aims to improve vocational education infrastructure ensuring TAFEs are equipped to deliver training to the standards expected by industry and students. The Commonwealth Government, in partnership with state and territory governments, has committed $50 million over two years from 2020-21 to 2021-22. Funding was awarded to proposals that demonstrated the greatest value for money, industry support and potential for improving the quality of training delivery to meet industry needs.

 ♦  Skills Organisations Pilots

  • The Skills Organisations Pilots, announced in the 2019-20 budget, aim to provide an opportunity for industry to trial new ways of working within the current national training system, while looking for new opportunities to make sure training is able to meet employers and the economy's needs. The pilots are being trialled in three key industries: human services care; digital technologies (including cyber security); and mining.
  • This initiative is part of the Australian Government's Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow package which is aimed at strengthening the vocational education and training sector in response to recommendations made in the Joyce review.

 ♦  Support for international students

  • The following changes to student visa arrangements were announced in July 2020: the Government will recommence granting student visas in all locations lodged outside Australia so that when borders re-open, students will already have visas and be able to make arrangements to travel; international students will be able to lodge a further student visa application free of charge, if they are unable to complete their studies within their original visa validity due to COVID-19; student visa holders studying online outside Australia due to COVID-19 will be able to use that study to count towards the Australian study requirement for a post-study work visa; graduates who held a student visa will be eligible to apply for a post-study work visa outside Australia if they are unable to return due to COVID-19; and additional time will be given for applicants to provide English language results where COVID-19 has disrupted access to these services.
  • International students contribute $40 billion annually and support 250 000 jobs. These changes are aimed at ensuring students are not worse off due to COVID-19 and that Australia remains competitive with other countries.

 ♦  Supporting Apprentices and Trainees

  • Supporting Apprentices and Trainees provides a wage subsidy to small and medium-sized businesses to support the retention of their existing apprentices and trainees. The wage subsidy is also available to new employers if they re-engage an apprentice or trainee that has been displaced from a small business. Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the eligible apprentice or trainee's wages paid until 31 March 2021.
  • Supporting Apprentices and Trainees is part of the Government's economic response to COVID-19. It was announced on 13 March 2020 to to support businesses and to keep apprentices and trainees employed. The $1.3 billion initiative was expected to support up to 70 000 small businesses employing 117 000 apprentices and trainees. It was initially only available to small businesses, including those using a Group Training Organisation (GTO), with apprentices or trainees in-training as at 1 March 2020. Subsidies were to cover wages paid from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. Employers of any size who re-engaged an apprentice or trainee that has been displaced from a small business could also apply for a wage subsidy.
  • On 16 July 2020, the government announced an expansion and extension of the initiative with an additional investment of $1.5 billion provided in the JobTrainer skills package: the wage subsidy was extended for an additional six months to 31 March 2020; the subsidy was expanded to include medium-sized businesses who had an apprentice in place on 1 July 2020, for wages paid from 1 July to 31 March 2021. The initiative is now expected to support almost 90 000 businesses employing around 180 000 apprentices and trainees.
  • On 4 October 2020, the government announced a further expansion and extension to the initiative: from 5 October 2020 until the cap of 100 000 cap is reached, businesses are eligible for a 50 per cent wage subsidy for a new or recommencing apprentice or trainee, regardless of geographic location, occupation, industry or business size. The subsidy is available for the period up to 30 September 2021.

     ♦  Fee-free TAFE courses

    • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, TAFE NSW, in conjunction with the NSW Government, is offering a number of fee-free short courses that can be completed in just days or weeks, offering practical skills and experiences across a range of industries. To be eligible for a fully-subsidised place, individuals must: live or work in NSW; be an Australian citizen or permanent resident or NZ citizen or humanitarian visa holder; be over 17 years (people between 15-17 years may be eligible); and have left school or are registered for home schooling.
    • An initial suite of 21 online courses was announced on 6 April; on 30 April, 13 new free-free courses were added to replace those that had reached capacity to ensure the availability of a total of 21 accredited courses. Around 85 000 individuals had enrolled in the fee-free courses in the first three weeks, of which more than 33 000 were studying at TAFE NSW for the first time.

     ♦   JobTrainer package - Skilling for Recovery

    • The New South Wales (NSW) Government launched its $318.56 million dollar JobTrainer package on 16 September 2020. The NSW package comprises $159.28 million from the Commonwealth Government, matched dollar-for-dollar by the State Government.
    •  The JobTrainer package is expected to fund approximately 108 000 free or low-fee training places in NSW, with a combination of short and long courses for job seekers and young people, including school leaver.
    • The JobTrainer Fund is a joint Commonwealth and states and territories initiative established through the National Partnership Agreement in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

     ♦   Support for international students

    • On 15 May 2020, the NSW Government announced it would fund temporary crisis accommodation for vulnerable international students during the COVID-19 pandemic as part of a $20 million support package. Accommodation will be available for an initial term of up to 12 weeks with potential to extend the accommodation to up to 20 weeks, subject to available funding. Applications for the Scheme opened on 1 June 2020. The package also provides increased support via the International Legal Service NSW and a new 24/7 international student support service, through the NSW Government COVID-19 hotline.

     ♦  Training to support bushfire affected communities

    • A variety of fee-free short courses are available, offering practical skills across a range of industries to support displaced workers severely impacted by the bushfires. Support includes: 12 months fee-free training for apprentices who have lost their jobs as a result of the bushfires; existing part-qualification funding for training that supports recovery and delivering training that support job seeking skills; assisting apprentices find new or permanent employment using Continuing Apprentices Placement Service (CAPS); and free replacements of Trade Certificates lost in fires.
    • Fee-free training is available across NSW to support COVID-19 and bushfire affected communities, including: chainsawing; environmental work; fencing; tree felling; white card - construction. Under this initiative, access to fully subsidised training for individuals affected by the bushfires who meet the eligibility criteria has been made a priority. To be eligible, students must: be aged 15 years or older; have left school; live or work in NSW; be an Australian citizen, permanent resident, humanitarian visa holder or New Zealand citizen.

     ♦  COVID-19 support package for training providers

    • The Victorian Government announced a $260.8 million support package on 17 April 2020 to ensure Victoria's TAFE and training system is ready and able to continue to train Victorians in priority industries. The package comprises: (1) $191.9 million for TAFEs, dual-sector TAFEs, Learn Local registered training organisations and AMES Australia in grants to support business continuity until 30 June 2020; and (2) $68.9m over three months in crisis support to ensure Victoria's public training system can respond and recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
    • An additional $55 million will be given to TAFEs help address maintenance needs.

     ♦  International Student Emergency Relief Fund

    • The Victorian Government announced a $45 million International Student Emergency Relief Fund (ISERF) to provide financial assistance to students who have lost wages and/or work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fund, which is being delivered in partnership with tertiary education providers, will be delivered in two streams: (1) eligible international students studying at a university or TAFE are required to apply to their institution directly for payments of up to $1100; (2) eligible students enrolled with a private education provider or college must apply through the Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions.
    • The funding is available until the end of 2020 or until funding is exhausted.

     ♦  Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program

    • The Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program was established in collaboration with the Apprenticeship Employment Network (AEN) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative, which commenced in May 2020, builds on the Apprenticeship Support Officer program and aims to assist apprentices and trainees who have lost their employment complete their training. Employers can also use to the program to register apprenticeship and traineeship vacancies, making the process of matching them with displaced trainees and apprentices easier.
    • In September 2020, an additional $900 000 in funding was invested in the program. The money is part of the $163 million package of investments to boost skills, create jobs and drive the state’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic announced in July.

     ♦  Working for Victoria

    • The $500 million Working for Victoria initiative was announced on 21 March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative, which is being delivered in partnership with Sidekicker, supports: jobseekers to find work; jobseekers to access online training; and employers to find workers fast, with the skills and experience they need, To be eligible, jobseekers must have Australian working rights to be eligible.
    • The initiative also includes a $50 million Agriculture Workforce Plan will provide dedicated support for our agriculture, food processing and critical food supply chain businesses in rural, regional and outer metropolitan Victoria. It assists with recruitment and financial support for: worker relocation and transport (worker accommodation and travel-to-work transport); worker induction and re-training; and business adaptation.
    • Working for Victoria is part of the Victorian Government's $1.7 billion Economic Survival Package.

     ♦  Free online training

    • The Queensland Government is supporting a number of fully funded short online training courses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic through:
      • TAFE Queensland's Isolearn: COVID Safe training modules for businesses such as hospitality industry, and beauty, nail, tanning, spas and tattooing sector that are required to have a COVID Safe plan; infection control skill sets for eligible employees in customer-facing roles in food handling, retail, and transport and logistics; micro-credentials (short, highly targeted free courses designed to improve a specific skill); and skill sets to build on existing skills ore retrain in new areas for eligible Queensland residents impacted by COVID-19.
      • CQ University: eligible Queenslanders can enrol in free online skill sets in community care, health support, medication assistance, mentoring and supervision and food services.
      • Skills Focus Queensland training hub: small business impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can access a free online library of courses tailored to small business, including: Foundation business skills; Leading a successful business; Connecting businesses and customers; and Adaption and digital skills. The online training is being provided through GO1 and its online learning platform, in partnership with the Queensland Government.

     ♦  JobTrainer package

    • The Queensland (Qld) Government launched its $201 million JobTrainer package on 25 September 2020. The Qld package comprises an investment of $100.5 from the Commonwealth matched dollar-for-dollar by the Queensland Government.
    • The program targets school leavers and job seekers, providing increased access to low-fee or free training. The focus is investing in apprenticeships and traineeships.
    • The JobTrainer Fund is a joint Commonwealth and states and territories initiative established through the National Partnership Agreement in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

     ♦  Queensland International Student Crisis Assistance Package

    • The Queensland International Student Crisis Assistance Package is a state-wide $15 million international education assistance and recovery package. As part of this package, the Queensland Government has provided: one-off financial grants of $500 to eligible international students studying at vocational education and training (VET), ELICOS and private colleges in Queensland; and distributed funding to large education and training providers to top up their financial hardship funds. The package complements a range of relief programs introduced by the Queensland Government, universities, education and training providers and local communities to support students during this difficult time.
    • The Online Student Hub is a digital platform linking case workers with students who can receive guidance on mental health, visa, crisis accommodation and other essential needs. To be eligible, individuals must be over the age of 18 years and be either currently enrolled or previously enrolled (with enrolment ceasing due to provider shut down as a consequence of COVID-19) at a CRICOS registered provider in Queensland.

     ♦  Community and Jobs Support Fund

    • The $250 million Community and Jobs Support Fund aims to assist community organisations, such as sporting, arts and recreational bodies, non-profit organisations and some other industry sectors. The fund is also expected to help with training South Australians seeking new skills and employment and to assist organisations to meet increased demand for services, including emergency relief.
    • The Community and Jobs Support Fund is part of the wider Jobs Rescue Package announced on 26 March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

     ♦  Dual trade apprenticeship pathway

    • The development of a new dual trade qualification in electrical and refrigeration/air conditioning qualifications was announced on 20 October 2020. An Australian first, the new dual trade pathway is aimed at addressing a shortage of electrical refrigeration technicians who are fully skilled and licensed in both the electrical and refrigeration trades. The dual qualification is expected to be completed in five years. Previously, the only pathway was through two separate apprenticeships taking up to eight years to complete.
    • The first stage of implementation will be through a pilot project commencing in early 2021.

     ♦  International Student Support Package

    • A new $13.8 million support package for international South Australia's international students was announced on 21 April 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The package has three components: (1) $10 million funding distributed the University of Adelaide, Flinders University and University of South Australia to distribute to their pathway and international students university students significantly impacted by COVID-19; (2) a $500 emergency cash grant to other international students (including VET students) significantly impacted by the restrictions, currently enrolled in a course, living in South Australia and who meet the criteria; and (3) a one-off $200 assistance payment per school students living with South Australian families provided to homestay families.
    • This package is part of the Community and Jobs Support Fund.

     ♦  JobTrainer package

    • The South Australian (SA) Government launched its $88 million JobTrainer package on 31 August 2020. The SA package comprises an investment of $53.5 million by the State Government and $34.5 million from the Commonwealth and complements Skilling South Australia.
    •  The JobTrainer target is 15 000 training places and is aimed at providing low-cost training to young South Australians, school leavers and job seekers in industries where there is high demand for skilled workers to drive employment, such as aged care, disability care and childcare. It also includes support for around 4000 people to transition into paid training contracts such as apprenticeships and traineeships in sectors that haven’t traditionally used the paid traineeship model.
    • The JobTrainer Fund is a joint Commonwealth and states and territories initiative established through the National Partnership Agreement in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

     ♦  VET Market Continuity Package

    • The $16 million VET Market Continuity Package was announced on 4 April 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The package is aimed at supporting non-government training providers meet the skill needs of the state and to adapt and remain viable. The package comprises two measures for training providers that have existing contracts with the State Government: (1) a  $4 million investment that enables training providers to put in place delivery modes and technology to support training, students and employers; and (2) continuity of subsidy payments at pre-COVID activity levels for a period of three months until June 2020, after which payments will be reviewed.

     ♦  Your Passion campaign

    • The Your Passion campaign, launched on 25 October 2020, aims to promote vocational pathways and the significant opportunities it offers to train and work in skilled careers, including through new low-fee short courses, qualifications, apprenticeships and traineeships.

     ♦  Apprenticeship and Traineeship Re-engagement Incentive

    • The $4.8 million Apprenticeship and Traineeship Re-engagement Incentive, announced on 28 July 2020 as part of the $229.2 million Rebuilding our TAFEs program, aims to provide financial support to employers who take on a displaced apprentice or trainee. Employers receive a one-off payment of $6000 for an apprentice and $3000 for a trainee.

     ♦  Construction Industry COVID-19 support package

    • On 23 April 2020, the State Government and Construction Training Fund (CTF) announced a new $24.5 million support package for the construction industry, to ensure jobs are maintained and the Western Australia construction workforce is ready to assist with the post COVID-19 economic recovery. The package comprises:
      • $10 million to provide an immediate, one-off payment of $2000 to employers of existing apprentices and trainees currently receiving CTF grant payments.
      • A new grants scheme worth $9.5 million, to assist employers to retain their existing apprentices, with payments beginning from 1 June 1 2020 (backdated from 1 April 1 2020). Payments range from $250 to $500 per month, per apprentice or trainee, depending on the trades facing the most critical skills shortages in the industry. This supplements CTF's existing grants scheme for a period of six months - employers currently receiving CTF grants for apprentices and trainees in employment are eligible for the new grant scheme.
      • $5 million to support more than 5000 building and construction apprentices and trainees to claim up to $1000 to support the costs of undertaking short training courses to assist them in upskilling to meet business needs.

     ♦  Defence Industry Incentive

    • The $8.5 million Defence Industry Incentive was announced on 22 September 2020, to provide financial assistance to Western Australian (WA) businesses employing apprentices in four key trades within the defence industry. Employers (including group training organisations) may be eligible for up to $20,000 per eligible apprentice. This is in addition to the Jobs and Skills WA Employer Incentive of up to $8,500 available to eligible employers. The program is also available to local government and government trading enterprises (GTEs) and not for profit organisations who are involved in the defence industry. Fifty per cent of the incentive is available once the apprentice passes probation, 30 per cent one year after commencement of the training contract, and the remaining 20 per cent two years after commencement.
    • To be eligible, employers must:
      • have an active, training contract registered with the Department of Training and Workforce Development Apprenticeship Office on or after 1 October 2020, and on or before 30 September 2021
      • employ an apprentice who lives and works in Western Australia
      • have been designated by Defence West - external site as one of WA’s approved defence employers and/or supply chain employers
      • employ apprentices enrolled into one of the following four approved qualifications:
        • Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication Trade (MEM30305)
    • Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade (MEM30205)
    • Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician (UEE30811)
    • Certificate III in Engineering – Industrial Electrician (MEM31219).
    • This incentive is part of an $18.34 million package to build the defence manufacturing workforce.

     ♦  Infrastructure Ready TAFE program

    • The Infrastructure Ready TAFE program was launched as part of a wider initiative aimed at driving the sustainability of the civil construction industry by developing an ongoing pool of entry-level workers. A new Infrastructure Ready skill set will prepare workers for entry level roles in the infrastructure industry as well as provide further study pathways. The four-week TAFE course is free for those people on JobSeeker/JobKeeper payments, or are concession-eligible or aged under 25. The fee for non-eligible participants is $191.
    • The program is a partnership between the State Government and industry and offers incentives to contractors to employ and retain program participants. The pilot program will begin in late October with the first round of job-ready participants given the opportunity to gain entry level prospects with contractors from the civil construction industry, by early 2021.

     ♦  Job ready and infection control skill sets

    • The job ready and infection control skill sets have been developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to fast track to help individuals get skills ready, boost their skills for the future and get jobs. This $25 million dollar initiative includes an initial list of 15 short courses that can also be used as a credit towards a full qualification from the 'Lower fees, local skills' program.
    • Job ready skill sets include general entry level training in a range of industries including hospitality, health care, retail, business, cyber security, agriculture and construction. All job ready skill sets are available to everyone. As at July 2020, the following job ready skill sets are free for everyone: Operating a Small Business; and Heavy Haulage Driving Operations. Other skill sets are 100 per cent free for the following individuals: persons aged 15-24 years at the time of enrolment (excluding school students); secondary school-aged persons who are not enrolled at school; persons receiving the JobSeeker or JobKeeper payment; persons and dependents of persons receiving the Youth Allowance, AUSTUDY or ABSTUDY; persons and dependents of persons holding a pensioner concession card or Health Care Card or a Repatriation Health Benefits Card issued by the Department of Veterans' Affairs; and dependents of persons who are inmates of a custodial institution.
    • Infection control skill sets, developed specifically to safely manage infection control in the workplace in key areas such as aged care, disability support, retail, hospitality, transport and logistics, are 100 per cent free for everyone.
    • This initiative is part of the $229.2 million Rebuilding our TAFEs program under the WA Recovery Plan.

     ♦  JobTrainer package

    • The Western Australian (WA) Government launched its $103.4 million JobTrainer package on 13 October 2020. The WA Agreement comprises an investment of $51.7 from the Commonwealth matched dollar-for-dollar by the WA Government.
    • The program will fund free or low-fee training places in Western Australia, with a combination of short and long courses for job seekers, and young people, including school leavers.
    • The JobTrainer Fund is a joint Commonwealth and states and territories initiative established through the National Partnership Agreement in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

     ♦  Lower fees, local skills program

    • The 'Lower fees, local skills' program is aimed at supporting training in growth areas. Under the program, course fees are cut by 50 per cent for any units of competency commenced by new or continuing students in selected qualifications between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2021. As well as half price course fees, all students aged 15-24 years of age, and other eligible concession students are eligible for the course fee cap of $400. The course fee cap for non-concession students is $1200.
    • The 'Lower fees, local skills' program commenced in January 2020 with 34 half price course fees qualifications.
    • On 1 July 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, TAFE fees for an additional 39 high priority courses were slashed by between 50 per cent and up to 72 per cent for Diploma courses.
    • The expanded program currently includes:
      • 27 Certificate-level qualifications with course fees reduced from between 50 and 67 per cent for areas such as plumbing, agriculture, METRONET courses, construction, electrical trades, health services, fabrication, mental health and disability services.
      • Six diploma courses, including Diploma of Nursing, Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care and Diploma of Community Service, with course fees reduced by 72 per cent.
      • Six pre-apprenticeship courses in areas including automotive electrical technology, engineering, plumbing and, building and construction, with course fees cut by 67 per cent.
    • Another 107 qualifications will be available under this initiative from January 2021.

    • The expansion of the 'Lower fees, local skills' program is part of the $229.2 million Rebuilding our TAFEs program under the WA Recovery Plan released in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

     ♦  Rebuilding our TAFEs

    • The $229.2 million Rebuilding our TAFEs program was announced on 28 July 2020 as part of the $5.5 billion WA Recovery Plan aimed at driving economic and social recovery across WA. Rebuilding our TAFEs plan includes:
      • $167.4 million in capital works projects across Western Australia
      • $25 million for free short courses to upskill thousands of Western Australians
      • $32 million for the expansion of the Lower fees, local skills program
      • $4.8 million for the Apprenticeship and Traineeship Re-engagement Incentive.

     ♦  Support for apprentices and trainees

    • Eligible apprentices and trainees displaced between 1 March 2020 and 31 December 2020 will not have to pay any course or resource fees for any units commenced by these apprentices for up to six months. Fee relief will continue to apply if the apprentice or trainee is subsequently picked up by another employer. Fees will be paid by the Department of Training and Workforce Development directly to training providers. Providers will be able to access these payments from July 1, 2020. This support is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and is aimed at making apprentices and trainees more employable in the recovery.
    • The fee relief is supported by a new Out of Contract Register to help apprentices and trainees who have been stood down to find a new employer.

     ♦  Work Placement Register

    The pilot Work Placement Register, launched in August 2020, has been developed to help public school students undertaking vocational education and training (VET) secure work placements in Government agencies.

     ♦  Energy and Infrastructure Training Market Development Fund

    • The Energy and Infrastructure Training Market Development (TMD) Fund provides grants to training organisations to increase training capacity and undertake other projects that respond to the training needs of Tasmania’s energy and infrastructure sectors. The objective of the Fund is to increase Tasmania's training capacity to support the energy and infrastructure sector through qualifications and other projects identified by the Tasmanian Energy and Infrastructure Workforce Advisory Committee (TEIWAC). The Fund is a key output of the Project Agreement for Energising Tasmania.

     ♦  Energy and Infrastructure Workforce Development Fund

    • Energy and Infrastructure Workforce Development (WFD) Fund provides grants to eligible organisations to undertake projects and activities that are responsive to the workforce needs of Tasmania's energy and infrastructure sectors. The objective of the Fund is to deliver one or more key recommendations identified by the Tasmanian Energy and Infrastructure Workforce Advisory Committee  (TEIWAC) and from the Civil Construction Industry Workforce Plan 2019-2025. The Fund is a key output of the Project Agreement for Energising Tasmania.

     ♦  Infection Control Training Fund and skill sets

    • The Infection Control Training Fund is a joint initiative between the Australian and State and Territory Governments aimed at supporting businesses to reopen and continue to operate safely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fund provides training places in infection control skill sets to customer-facing workers. In Tasmania, the Fund is managed by Skills Tasmania. To be eligible, applicants must be a Skills Tasmania endorsed registered training organisation (RTO); and scoped for the skill set/s for which they are applying, including showing Tasmania as a site.  The Fund grant eligibility criteria:
      • The skill set/s for which training is provided must relate directly to the type of business whose staff are receiving training.
      • Learners must be currently employed and may include casual employees and those on JobKeeper payments.
      • Learners who have completed HLTINF001 'Comply with infection prevention and control policies and procedures' within the previous five years whose training was funded by Skills Tasmania are eligible for funding.
      • Employees of the Australian, Tasmanian and local governments are not eligible for funding.

     ♦  JobTrainer package

    • The Tasmanian Government launched its $21.04 million JobTrainer package on 23 September 2020. The Tasmanian package comprises an investment of $10.52 million from the Commonwealth matched dollar-for-dollar by the Tasmanian Government.
    • The program targets school leavers and job seekers, providing increased access to low-fee or free training.
    • The JobTrainer Fund is a joint Commonwealth and states and territories initiative established through the National Partnership Agreement in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

     ♦  Rapid Response Skills Initiative - expansion of initiative in response to COVID-19

    • The Rapid Response Skills Initiative (RRSI) is a Tasmanian Government program that provides support for people who have lost their jobs because of retrenchment due to company downsizing or closure. It provides funding assistance of up to $3000 to people who need help to up-skill, retrain or obtain licences in order to gain new employment. The RRSI program aims to get people back to work as soon as possible by making funding assistance available when the individual has been notified by their employer that they will be made redundant.
    • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government announced an expansion of RRSI with an additional $6.3 million to help redeploy people who lost their jobs. To help move workers into new jobs as quickly as possible, a Rapid Response Skills Matching Service has been established to help match and prepare job ready workers with industries and businesses.

     ♦  SKILL UP for your future

    • 'SKILL UP for your future', announced on 11 May 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, is aimed at enabling Tasmanians to quickly upskill, reskill or gain new skills, ready to enter into employment or change careers once the economy starts to recover. It comprises a suite of online short courses and skill sets, many of which have no fees, specifically focused on transferrable skills useful to employers across various jobs and industries, as well a skills to support people to successfully enter into employment.
    • To be eligible individuals must be: a resident of Tasmania or working in Tasmania; an Australian or New Zealand citizen, an Australian permanent resident, or on a state sponsored visa on a pathway to permanent residence; and of working age.

     ♦  Train Now Fund

    • The objective of the Train Now Fund, announced on 29 April 2020,  is to deliver and subsidise training and workforce development activities to existing workers and sole traders to support industries to train their workers during the COVID-19 pandemic to increase employees' skills to support the sustainability and future productivity of their business. It specifically targets training for existing workers, including sole traders, who are still employed and have capacity to train during the COVID-19 pandemic. The subsidised training is aimed at: ensuring employers who have urgent training needs can access funding support; improving the likelihood of businesses remaining sustainable; increasing the future productivity of the business to support economic recovery and growth; and increasing the skill level and future employability of employees who remain with their employer, through completion of nationally recognised training.
    • The grant supports three different partner types: any endorsed registered training organisation (RTO) can apply for a Train Now Fund grant in partnership with an employer, industry association or business/small business groups. A range of eligibility applies, including: the endorsed RTO must have the qualifications/skill sets/units of competency on their scope of registration; the endorsed RTO must be financially viable at the time of applying for and for the duration of any subsequent funding agreement; the applicant must provide evidence of the partnership with the employer or industry association ; and the existing workers who undertake the training must not be eligible for an apprenticeship or traineeship.
    • The Train Now Fund is part of the $6.3 million expansion of the Rapid Response Skills Initiative.

     ♦  Free training courses

    • A suite of over 50 free training courses have been developed to help workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to upskill and reskill. The short courses cover a range of industries, including digital, environmental studies, finance, emergency and disaster, health and education, practical business skills, skills for tradies and hospitality and can be taken online or in classrooms with reduced class sizes. Courses are open to Territorians who meet the eligibility criteria, determined by the training organisations contracted to deliver the courses.

     ♦  JobTrainer package

    • The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government launched its $16.75 million dollar JobTrainer package on 8 September 2020. The ACT package comprises $8.3 million from the Commonwealth Government, matched dollar-for-dollar by the ACT Government.
    •  The JobTrainer package is expected to fund up to 340 000 free or low-fee training places in the ACT for upskilling and reskilling for school leavers and job seekers in areas of demand.
    • The JobTrainer Fund is a joint Commonwealth and states and territories initiative established through the National Partnership Agreement in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

     ♦  Support for international students

    • On 28 April 2020, the ACT Government announced a new $450 000 support package for temporary visa holders and international students. The Red Cross will also work with tertiary institutions to provide $150 000 in ACT Government support to international students who have experienced financial hardship resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Support includes emergency accommodation, legal advice and access to health services.

     ♦  Support for the VET sector

    • The ACT Government announced the following measures to support the capacity of the vocational education and training (VET) sector during the COVID-19 pandemic:
      • delay the pricing measures introduced in January 2020 to address User Choice and Skilled Capital program budget pressures until 2021 and reinstate subsidy levels to 2019 levels. These changes apply only for 2020 enrolments and payments backdated for User Choice commencements and Skilled Capital enrolments from 15 January 2020.
      • release an additional 2405 Skilled Capital places across 60 qualifications and 39 skills sets to address emerging workforce needs in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
      • provide registered training organisations (RTOs) with an ACT Government Training Initiative Funding Agreement access to a 50 per cent unit payment where a student has commenced a unit of competency, but the RTO is not able to finalise assessment due to workplace access and social distancing policies.

     ♦  Youth Support Package

    • The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government's Youth Support Package, in released in August 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, provides:
      • A six-month payroll tax exemption for businesses who pay wages for new employees who are apprentices or trainees. The exemption would apply to six months of wages for eligible employees recruited between 1 August 2020 to 31 January 2021.
      • A $2 million extension of the ACT Public Service graduate program to provide additional graduate positions over the next two years, including cadet and apprentice recruitment.
      • An additional $250,000 for targeted mental health support for young people. This program builds on the Mental Health Support Package previously announced as part of the economic survival package.