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Issue 0032 Skills Development Grants Assist Businesses

In the last few months, the Federal government has released two new grant programs, which offer significant benefits, not only to employees, also to the businesses. These grants are:

  • Industry Skills Fund
  • Training for Employment Scholarship

Industry Skills Fund

PTQuoteGrantsThe Industry Skills Fund has different levels of benefit available, depending on a number of full-time equivalent (FTE) employees that are employed by the business. These range from:

  • Micro businesses (0-4 FTE employees) – 75%
  • Small businesses (5-19 FTE employees) – 66%
  • Medium businesses (20-199 FTE employees) – 50%
  • Large businesses (200+ FTE employees) – 25%

Your business contribution towards this scheme must be paid in cash.

The purpose of this grant is to assist businesses to access training so the businesses are better placed to succeed in a rapidly-changing economy.

The Industry Skills Fund has identified “priority industries”, including:

  • Food and Agribusiness
  • Mining Equipment Technology and Services
  • Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals
  • Oil, Gas and Energy Resources
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Enabling technology and service industries that support one or more of the priority industries listed, including:
    • Freight and Logistics
    • Infrastructure Related Construction
    • Information and Communication Technology
    • Professional Services

The government believes that these priority sectors are the industries where Australia enjoys a competitive advantage and is likely to have an opportunity to exploit favourable global market conditions or has a significant impact on the Australian economy.

Applicants who are within the priority industries will be fast tracked through a streamline assessment process.

However, applicants that don’t fall under the priority industries are still able to apply. Indeed, if you have a worthwhile skills development program, you should apply.

In the application, the applicant will need to clearly show that they will have a significant growth potential and are prepared to re-position their business to take advantage of economic opportunities.

The program presents some tremendous opportunities for businesses to undertake some worthwhile skills development, with the government paying a significant amount of the cost.

Improving employment prospects for young people

The government has also released a pilot program, Training for Employment Scholarship, which will run until 31st March 2016. This program is targeted at businesses employing less than 200 FTE employees and is located in specified outer metropolitan and regional areas, including:

  • New South Wales:
    • Central Coast
    • Hunter Valley (excluding Newcastle)
    • Sydney-Outer Western/Blue Mountains
  • Queensland:
    • Sunshine Coast
    • Ipswich
    • Townsville
  • Victoria:
    • Mornington Peninsula
    • Melbourne-West
  • South Australia:
    • Adelaide-North
  • Western Australia:
    • Perth-Southwest
  • Tasmania:
    • Launceston-Northeast

The objective of this program is to provide businesses with greater access to appropriately skilled workers in their region and improve job prospects for young people, by providing incentives for employers to take on new workers. Participants in the training must meet the following criteria:

  • age 18-24 years from the date of employment;
  • an Australian citizen, permanent resident or have working rights in Australia;
  • employed by the business; • agrees to undertake the training specified in the funding application; and
  • hasn’t been in full-time employment or full-time study prior to commencing employment with the business.

The training must be delivered over a 26-week period. The grant will reimburse businesses training costs of up to $7,500 (including GST) per eligible employee.

Professional Advice

If you’re interested in applying for either of these grants, your accountant can assist you in the application process. However, if your accountant doesn’t wish to be involved in government grants and you need some assistance, we invite you to utilise the "Find an Accountant/Adviser" directory.  Simply enter in your postcode and the Find an Accountant/Adviser directory will identify accountants located in or near your postcode, who are able to supply a range of business advisory services, including the types of services mentioned in this article.

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Episode S032 Skills Development Grants Assist Businesses

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