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Workforce Development Funding – Breaking it down

10 October 2012

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Workforce Development Funding Large

What is it?

The National Workforce Development Fund (NWDF) is an Australian Government program that helps businesses identify and address their current and future workforce development needs. The NWDF forms part of the Australian Government Skills Connect initiative designed to link industry to funding for whole of workforce planning and development.

Under the NWDF, businesses are able to apply for Government funding to support the training of their workers in areas of identified need. The program aims to help businesses lift their workforce capacity, provide Australian workers with the opportunity to increase their skills through formal training and assist areas of the economy where skilled workers are needed the most.

Available Funding

$700 million is available through the NWDF from 2011-12 to 2015-16.

The Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency is responsible for determining the industry sectors, regions and groups that will be prioritised for funding. Information about the priorities for funding in 2012-13 will be available on the NWDF website.

A fair proportion of funding will be available to support delivery in regional areas. This is expected to be at least population share or 32 per cent.

A partnership with industry

The NWDF uses a partnership approach where Industry Skills Councils (ISCs) play a key role in administering the program and industry contributes to the cost of training. ISCs will assist businesses with identifying their training needs, selecting a Registered Training Organisation to address these needs and monitoring the implementation of successful projects.

This will ensure that training proposals are driven by the needs of your business and allow you to decide what, how, where and when the training will be undertaken.

Participating businesses will contribute to the cost of training. The level of Government support is based on the size of the business with additional support provided for smaller businesses:

Size of Full Time Equivalent Workforce
Australian Government
Contribution (%)
Participating Organisation Contribution (%)
1 -99 (small) 67 33
100 – 199 (medium) 50 50
200 and above (large) 34 66

Who can apply?

Organisations eligible to apply for funding include the following:

  • Enterprises
  • Professional associations, industry bodies and other lead agents representing a consortia of enterprises
  • Employment Service Providers

Who can receive training?

Training will be provided to existing workers and new workers, including currently unemployed job seekers who will be employed after completing the training.

To be eligible for training, an individual must:

  • not have previously completed the qualification they are applying for under the NWDF
  • be an Australian citizen, a permanent resident of Australia or a humanitarian refugee
  • be 17 years of age or over
  • satisfy course pre-requisites (such as adequate literacy and numeracy) to effectively undertake the training
  • meet any licensing requirements for relevant qualifications

Volunteers and those employed in the general government sector in Australian, State and Territory Government Departments are not eligible for funding.

What training will be delivered?

Training must be either a nationally endorsed qualification or a Training Package Skills Set recognised under the Australian Qualifications Framework.

For new workers these qualifications can include Certificate II, III, IV, Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Vocational Graduate Certificate and Vocational Graduate Diploma. For existing workers these qualifications can include Certificate III, IV, Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Vocational Graduate Certificate and Vocational Graduate Diploma. Workers undertaking training in a Skills Set must already hold a qualification at a Certificate III level or above.

All 35 of Upskilled’s Nationally Recognised Business and IT Qualifications attract Workforce Development Funding.

How to apply

If you are interested in applying you should first contact an Upskilled Education Manager on 1300 009 924 who can talk you through the process along with providing the relevant Industry Skills Council contacts for the industry you are operating in.

Where can I find out more?

For more information call 1300 009 924 to speak to an Upskilled Education Manager or email info@upskilled.edu.au.

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