Have you ever considered online study but dismissed the idea because you thought you couldn’t afford it? Well you won’t be alone if you have, despite the fact that in 2016, 20% of Australians aged 15 to 64 years were enrolled in formal study, there are still plenty of people out there who would like to make the effort to further their qualifications, but hesitate for financial reasons. The advantages of online study are many, not only does it give those who are in work or busy with families the opportunity to further their careers but it does so in a way that is far more flexible and manageable than more traditional courses.
Few people realise how many avenues and opportunities there are for government funding for online study. These are many and can appear to be complicated so Upskilled has designed a guide to inform prospective students how they might be able to get financial help via state or federal funding. We have answered some of your main questions below but if you are thinking about online training, and want more detail, we recommend you download our handy PDF Guide to Financial Assistance.
#1: What is the VET sector?
The VET (Vocational Education and Training) system is a group of state and federal government agencies and Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) like Upskilled who work together to ensure that qualifications delivered across Australia meet the country’s needs for quality training that is relevant to current industry growth sectors.
You need to know about the VET System because it is the system around which funding decisions are made. Find out more in our PDF Financial Assistance Guide.
#2: What types of financial assistance are available?
Each type of financial assistance for online study has different eligibility and applications criteria; they include the following broad categories:
- Government funding (where the government pays training fees straight to an RTO)
- Government incentive (where the government pays your employer to fund your training)
- Government loans (where you would be required to pay back loans for training funds)
- Student income support (payments to support you whilst studying, if you are on a low income)
You can find out more about each of these categories by downloading our PDF Financial Assistance Guide.
#3: Who can get financial assistance for training?
Financial assistance is usually only available to Australian Citizens, Permanent Residents or New Zealand Passport holders with more than 6 months residence. If you meet one of these requirements you may also be subject to different eligibility requirements depending on the type of qualification you are seeking. If you or your chosen qualification fall into any of the categories below, you might be eligible for government funding (please note, this may be state dependent).
- Small Businesses
- School leavers
- Those wanting to obtain a Certificate III
- The trades
- Aged Care
- Child Care
You can find out more about your eligibility for a wide range of financial assistance schemes by clicking on the links in the document. Find out more in our PDF Financial Assistance Guide.
#4: Are there financial support opportunities I might not have heard about?
The range and variety of financial support opportunities available in Australia is wide and can appear complicated. Because of this, there is a high chance that there are opportunities for financial support that you might not have heard about or previously considered. Nationally these include:
- Apprenticeships (for all age groups and available in more than 500 occupations)
- The Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) program (for language, literacy and numeracy training)
- The New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (for those hoping to one day run their own business)
- The (AMEP) Adult Migrant English Program (for those who need to learn English language and settlement skills)
There is more detail available about these national and a selection of state-specific funding initiatives in our PDF Guide to Financially Assisted Training (PDF Financial Assistance Guide.)
#5: What is the HELP (Higher Education Loan) Program?
Higher education is not limited to university; the term relates to any qualification that is at Bachelor level or above and is becoming increasingly available in the form of online courses. The HELP Program provides loans to assist higher education students (including those undertaking online courses) to pay for their tuition. There are 4 different HELP loan schemes, find out more about these on page 27 of our PDF Guide to Financially Assisted Training.
Download the Upskilled Government Funding eBook now
Head to this page to get your free copy. It is clear from the abundance of options for financial help that the Australian Government is keen to encourage as many people as possible to undertake further training and equip Australia as we move into a different, but exciting future.
Skills shortages exist all across Australia and if you are thinking of gaining further qualifications to take advantage of these but need, for whatever reason, the flexibility that an online course can give you, you may be surprised about the amount of financial help that is available. Download our PDF Guide to Financially Assisted Training today and find out how to fund your route into your future.