Industry Skills Fund (ISF)
The $476 million Industry Skills Fund – Growth Stream (the fund) was a key element in the Australian Government’s Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda and was intended to provide up to 200,000 training places and support services over four years.
The fund prioritised SMEs, including micro businesses, and was delivered through the single business service, which streamlined access to essential information for all Australian businesses.
The fund assisted industry to invest in training and support services, and to develop innovative training solutions. The fund helped build a highly skilled workforce that could take advantage of new business growth opportunities and adapt to rapid technological change.
National Workforce Development Fund (NWDF)
Through the National Workforce Development Fund, the Australian Government provided $700 million over four years to industry to support training and workforce development in areas of current and future skills need.
Under the Fund, organisations could identify their current and future business and workforce development needs and apply for funding to support the training of existing workers and new workers in areas of need.
The NWDF used a partnership approach between Government and Industry. The Business/ Government contribution relationship depends on the business size:
|Size of full time workforce||Australian Government contribution||Business Contribution|
|200 and above (large)||34%||66%|
As part of the 2014 Federal Budget in May 2014, the Government announced that the National Workforce Development Fund would close.
This followed a previous government announcement that as at 21 March 2014, the Department of Industry would not be accepting or processing applications or requests for funding extensions for discretionary grants including the National Workforce Development Fund ahead of the Federal Budget in May 2014. Applications would not be reopened.
Applications submitted under the National Workforce Development Fund on or before 21 March 2014 were progressed and, if approved for funding, were supported through existing arrangements.
There was no impact on existing projects and training funded through these projects. Existing contracts were honoured through existing arrangements with the Industry Skills Council.
Workplace English Language and Literacy (WELL)
The main aim of the Workplace English Language and Literacy (WELL) Program was to assist organisations to train workers in English language, literacy and numeracy skills. This funding was available on a competitive grants basis to organisations for English language and literacy training linked to job-related workplace training and was designed to help workers meet their existing and future employment and training needs.
Investing In Experience Fund (IIE)
Investing in Experience (IIE) was a program designed to assist mature aged workers (50 years+, 14hrs/wk) gain nationally recognised qualifications. It was designed to provide an opportunity for mature age workers to have their capabilities recognised and to receive training to fill any identified skills or knowledge ‘gaps’.
IIE replaces the ‘Experience+’ and the ‘More Help for Mature Age Workers’ initiatives and provided $20 million between 2012 and 2014 to support up to 5,000 mature age workers obtain qualifications at Certificate III to Advanced Diploma level.
Grants of up to $4400 (incl GST) were available to employers to assist with the costs of employees completing a skills assessment and necessary gap training.
Funding was provided to the employer in two installments:
- $3,300 (including GST) upon completion of a skills assessment ( ‘Recognition of Prior Learning’ process) conducted by an RTO.
- Further $1100 (including GST) upon completion of any identified gap training.
Note: Where mature age workers already had a formal qualification at Cert III – Adv Dip, they were eligible to receive funding to complete a National Training Package Skill Set.
Occupations generally classified by the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) as Technicians and Trade Workers; Machinery Operators and Drivers and Labourers, were targeted under this initiative.
Priority industries targeted included the Construction, Manufacturing, Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services. The grant could be accessed by small business owners who are in this age group and operated in the targeted industries.
Employers were expected to cover any costs incurred above the allocated funding under the program. However, where funding was in excess of the skill assessment and training costs, the employer could use the grant to cover expenses incurred in the administration of the activities, employee ‘downtime’, other training programs for the employee eg: occupational certifications/tickets etc.
Critical Skills Investment Fund (CSIF)
The Critical Skills Investment Fund provided $200 million in Australian Government co-funding for industry partnerships to undertake projects that provide training and employment opportunities in critical industry sectors. The Industries under E-Oz’s coverage were considered to be ‘critical industry sectors’.
The goal of the Fund was to help increase the supply of skilled labour for enterprises in these sectors. To achieve this, the Fund supported projects that trained and placed job seekers into available positions, and that up-skilled existing workers to meet new demands.
Enterprise Based Productivity Places Programe (EBPPP)
Through the Enterprise Based Productivity Places Program (EBPPP), the Australian Government made available $50 million to support the delivery of approximately 14,000 new training places for existing workers. The training was delivered at the Certificate III to Advanced Diploma levels across all industry sectors in areas of national and local skills demand.
The EBPPP provided opportunities for employees in participating enterprises to increase their skill levels and gain further qualifications. This assisted enterprises to increase productivity and meet the demand of today’s economy for higher level skills.
Training supported by EBPPP funding commenced on or before 30 June 2011 and it was expected that all training was completed before 31 December 2013.
The Australian ElectroComms & EnergyUtilities Industries were well represented with E-Oz administering 1424 training places and $4.6m in Government Funding.