JobTrainer for Providers: What We Know so Far

Claudia Reiners
December 2, 2020

JobTrainer for Providers: What We Know so Far

4bf428ed6af9ff680b7ac8b24b046f3d?s=50&d=mm&r=g Claudia Reiners
Head of Strategy

As Australia transitions to COVID normal, the Federal Government’s steps towards securing Australia’s economic future are beginning to take shape.

One core initiative being JobTrainer — the government’s $2 billion skills package aimed at creating a better-skilled post-pandemic workforce.

Eligibility for funding extends to public, not-for-profit and private education providers that offer courses in alignment with the National Skills Commission’s Skills Priority List.

Read on to find out more about JobTrainer and your organisation’s eligibility.

What is JobTrainer?

JobTrainer is a skills initiative established by the Australian government to provide 340,000 Australians with the opportunity to retrain into industry areas predicted to see high job growth.

The Federal Government has partnered with state and territory governments to invest $2 billion into the JobTrainer Fund. These funds will subsidise the two-part package:

1. $1.5 billion is aimed at supporting thousands of existing apprentices and trainees by subsidising their wages.

2. $500 million is for retraining and upskilling school leavers and job seekers, to help create a skilled post-pandemic workforce (with $500 million to be matched by state and territory governments).

The $500 million pot will be split across the states and territories, with each location allocated an approximate number of places:

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Learners must be:

  • Aged 17 to 24 (regardless of employment status)
  • 25+ and hold a valid and current Health Care Card, Pensioner Concession Card or Veteran’s Gold Card
  • Unemployed, or
  • At risk of losing their job

To be eligible to study a free or low-fee course via the JobTrainer Initiative.

Learners are able to choose from a range of accredited diplomas and certificates, along with shorter courses — known as ‘skill sets’ — units that are part of a full qualification.

Training places have already begun rolling out on a state-by-state basis, and will be available until September 2021.

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What kind of providers are eligible for funding?

Unlike some previous government funding initiatives like ‘Free TAFE’, which limited funding opportunities to only TAFE education providers, public, not-for-profit and private education providers may all be eligible to participate in JobTrainer.

Registered Training Organisations are required to apply for funding with each state, with the option to apply in multiple states. To be successful, the provider must be able to provide evidence of industry references or ties within each location.

The application also requires providers to state their estimated student enrolment capacity, which will influence the share of funding divided out.

Other funding requirements and considerations providers should know about

The JobTrainer Initiative (effective 15 October 2020) has been established to help lighten the negative impacts of COVID-19 on Australia’s economy by facilitating the evolution of a more skilled workforce.

To promote job growth in sectors nominated by the National Skills Commission and state and territory governments, funding has been prioritised in the following areas:

  • Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Landing Management
  • Automotive Retail, Service and Repair
  • Business Services
  • Community Services
  • Construction, Plumbing and Services
  • Electrotechnology
  • Forest and Wood Products
  • Furnishing
  • Health Training
  • Information and Communications
  • Laboratory Operations
  • Metal and Engineering
  • Manufacturing and Engineering
  • Maritime
  • Resources and Infrastructure
  • Training and Education

The full list of courses can be found on the myskills website.

State and territory governments are responsible for determining which qualifications and short courses to prioritise from the agreed list, with focus on training in areas of anticipated employment growth.

If a provider meets all of JobTrainer’s eligibility requirements and is set to receive funding, they will receivement payment in line with each student’s learning progression.

It is still unclear what this means for students who change their minds and are interested in pursuing an alternative course — these blurred lines could lead to funding complications for providers.

Providers eligible to deliver JobTrainer will also have access to the ‘Building Capability Program’ that offers VET practitioners and RTO staff members professional development opportunities. The program has been designed to help strengthen providers’ ability to develop teaching skills and deliver high quality training and assessment.

State-specific JobTrainer initiatives

Some Australian states have adjusted existing funding programs or have built out new, JobTrainer-specific programs to accommodate the needs of both learners and education providers.


JobTrainer and ‘Free TAFE’

Eligible Victorians will now be able to access Free TAFE courses through JobTrainer, even if the student holds a higher qualification. Before JobTrainer, students were only allowed to enrol in a course that is a higher qualification than the highest qualification previously attained via the Free TAFE initiative.

According to, for other priority courses under the JobTrainer initiative, eligible Victorians will only pay 20% of the listed fees. Students can enrol up to one full qualification and one short course or skillset.

New South Wales

‘Skills for Recovery’ fee-free training in NSW

‘Skills for Recovery’ is the New South Wales initiative for the delivery of JobTrainer funding, with $320 million total funding from both federal and state and over 100,000 allocated training positions. Like other states, students can study a free or low-fee course if they meet the eligibility requirements.

Summer Skills Program

A program where NSW 2020 Year 12 school leavers can sign up to undertake training courses over the summer period. Currently, TAFE NSW is the only provider offering ‘Summer Skills’ courses. However, this may open up depending on provider interest.

South Australia

Building Capability Program

Providers eligible to deliver JobTrainer will have access to the ‘Building Capability Program’ that offers VET practitioners and RTO staff members professional development opportunities. The program has been designed to help strengthen providers’ ability to develop teaching skills and deliver high-quality training and assessment.

JobTrainer Transition Payments

Providers that are delivering JobTrainer funding are also eligible for a quota allocation to help young JobTrainer students (aged 17-24) transition into further education or employment.

This scheme will supply providers with payment per participant outcome:

  • $500 for enrolment into further education (must be an aligned vocational pathway), or
  • $2,500 for an employment outcome that falls under a priority occupation

Like the broader initiative, this program is limited to priority industry areas. Applications close November 18, 2020.

By education providers, state and federal governments coming together to offer funded education solutions, we are well on our way to ensuring quality education that meets the growing demand for high growth industries.

And with JobTrainer set to propel Australia forward in its economic recovery, providers have been granted the opportunity to play an even greater role in building a better equipped, future-proof workforce.

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Claudia Reiners
Head of Strategy
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