Training: Understanding Funding and Eligibility

UPDATED: July 2018

At Simmonds & Bristow we understand that government funding impacts what you and/or your employer has to pay when it comes to training – and we know how important that is. We also know though, that figuring out what the various funding options are and whether or not you’re eligible can be very confusing. You’ve asked us to try to shed some light on the subject, so we thought we’d put a little something together for you. (Thanks to Xin, our training co-ordinator and all-around wizard when it comes to guiding our students through the process of getting organised to get the training they need!)

Where does the funding come from?

Training can come from a variety of sources, including both the state and federal° level as well as private industry organisations. It is important to keep in mind though that the exact funding scheme available changes from time to time. It is also important to remember that not everyone qualifies for government funding. To get the funding, you have to be considered an “eligible learner”.

Remember too, that each state sets their state level funding scheme and the rules can be very different from one to another, even though they may be called the same thing (for example: User Choice).

Industry organisations, like LGAQ, or the QLD Water Directorate may also have some funding available to support industry specific training.

°Unfortunately, there is no federal level funding available at the moment.

How does this impact our industry?

We’re actually very lucky in that Water Operators and Water Operations are recognised as highly needed skills in the Queensland economy. That means our industry is pretty well supported by most of the major funding schemes in Queensland.

What are the current funding schemes?

Current schemes in Queensland include:

  • User Choice
  • Certificate 3 Guarantee
  • Higher Level Skills

In general, who is considered an “eligible learner”?

Incentives and funding opportunities are generally restricted to Australian Citizens, Permanent Residents or NZ Passport holders (for Queensland state government funding you must also permanently reside in Queensland). Beyond this, eligibility requirements differ between schemes, with varying degrees of detail and complexity.

What is “location loading”?

Sometimes, if training is provided in a particular location, the government provides additional funding.

Let’s take a look at the current funding schemes.

The summaries below are current as of February 2016. We’ll do our best to keep this information up to date, but please keep in mind that funding policies undergo regular reviews and updates. So please contact us if you are unsure of the current policy. And don’t forget – we don’t expect you to go it alone. You can call us any time (and we’ll address that again below, after you’ve had a chance to look at the various funding schemes).

User Choice

(Certificate II or III)

Who is eligible? In summary:

  • User Choice funding should apply (provided all other requirements of the Training Contract and User Choice are met) where an individual has already completed a Certificate III Water Operations through fee for service (i.e. not through a Traineeship).
  • User Choice funding will not apply where an individual has already completed a Certificate III Water Operations qualification (any version/year) through any User Choice arrangement/Traineeship.

Other eligibility details:

  • Participants who have completed other previous qualifications not funded through User Choice should be eligible to receive User Choice funding for a Certificate II or III Water Operations (provided all other requirements of the Training Contract and User Choice are met).
  • Participants who have undertaken previous qualifications funded through User Choice may still be eligible to undertake a second User Choice qualification under the current Policy, depending on the qualifications. For further detailed information on individual eligibility contact your local Australian Apprenticeship Centre.
What is funded and what is the   funding subsidy amount Certificate III in Water Operations: $6590

Certificate II in Water Operations: $3650

Plus Location Loading.

Co-contribution Fee & other possible costs $1.60 per nominal hour + Any difference between the entitled subsidies and our standard course price
Learner’s obligation http://apprenticeshipsinfo.qld.gov.au/information-resources/info-sheets/is3.html
Employer’s obligations http://apprenticeshipsinfo.qld.gov.au/information-resources/info-sheets/is13.html
Key points Well-funded, but involves a lot of administrative work from both the employer and the trainee (and S&B as SRTO). Employer must provide sufficient resources, i.e. 1 qualified supervisor per learner; on-job learning opportunity and time; adequate facilities etc.

Certificate III* Guarantee

*Certificate III only

Who is eligible? Those who currently work in the water industry and do not hold, or are not enrolled in a Certificate III or higher qualification.
What is funded and what is the funding subsidy amount Certificate III in Water Operations: $3040 (concession $3420)

Plus Location Loading

Co-contribution Fee & other possible costs Any difference between the entitled subsidies and our standard course price
Learner’s obligation Must complete a Training and Employment Survey
Employer’s obligations Not applicable
Key points Not as well funded as User Choice, but has less requirements around employer resources, on-job training etc.

Higher Level Skills (Certificate IV or Diploma)

Who is eligible? Those who currently work in the water industry and do not hold, or are not enrolled in a Certificate IV or higher qualification.
What is funded and funding subsidy amount Certificate IV in Water Operations: $3199 (concession $3885)

Diploma of Water Operations: $2285 (concession $2971)

Plus Location Loading

Co-contribution Fee & other possible cost Any difference between the entitled subsidies and our standard course price
Learner’s obligation Must complete a Training and Employment Survey
Employer’s obligations Not applicable
Key points Only applies to students pursuing Cert IV or Diploma.

What are my options if I’m still confused?

People can easily get lost in the ever changing and complicated government funding systems. Simmonds & Bristow guides our clients through every step and handles the administrative processes to ensure every opportunity for funding is explored. So don’t worry – just call our Training Team today at 1800 620 690 and we’ll help you through it.

As mentioned, please just keep in mind that the details funding terms and conditions are subject to change.