Industry Skills Fund

Industry Skills Fund - growth stream

The $476 million Industry Skills Fund – Growth Stream (the fund) is a key element in the Australian Government’s Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda and will provide up to 200,000 training places and support services over four years.

The fund prioritises SMEs, including micro businesses, and is delivered through the single business service, which streamlines access to essential information for all Australian businesses.

The fund assists industry to invest in training and support services, and to develop innovative training solutions. The fund will help build a highly skilled workforce that can take advantage of new business growth opportunities and adapt to rapid technological change.

The Industry Skills Fund – Growth Stream will be open for applications on 19 January 2015

What kind of assistance can I access under the fund?

Help is available in the following categories:

1. Skills Advice

Help to identify skills opportunities and maximise training outcomes. 

If you are a small or medium individual business that is eligible for the Industry Skills Fund - Growth Stream (the Fund) and could benefit from support to determine the training solution that will help your business grow, you may be referred to Skills Advice. This service will provide tailored advice and training recommendations to increase the likelihood of your business meeting its growth objective.

Skills Advice is a service delivered free of charge to eligible businesses through a nation-wide network of expert Skills Advisers.
If referred for Skills Advice, a Skills Adviser will contact you within two weeks to arrange a time to engage with you​. The Skills Adviser will assist you to identify the skills your business needs to access your growth opportunity, and provide recommendations to ensure your workforce has the required skills.

Recommendations will be given in the following categories:

  • Business growth training – training activities required for you to increase competitiveness for identified growth opportunities.
  • Business growth training support services – other activities you can complete to increase the impact of business growth training outcomes.
  • Advisers may recommend training activities to improve normal day-to-day business operations. These training activities won’t be eligible for an Industry Skills Fund Training Grant.

If you receive, and are interested in, implementing recommendations in the ‘Business growth training’ and/or ‘Business growth training support services’ categories and would like some financial help, you can apply for a Training Grant.

2. Training Grant

Co-investment for businesses to improve the skills of their workforce for an identified growth opportunity.

The Training Grant helps you with the cost of training, including:

  • nationally recognised training, including full qualifications and skill sets;
  • training that is accredited through state and territory systems, including Language, Literacy and Numeracy training;
  • training that is identifiable, transferrable by a learner and builds the capability of a learner;
  • high quality, innovative or tailored training that may not yet be part of a training package or accredited course. This can include different combinations of training modules to form new skill sets and training tailored to meet specific business needs; and
  • training required to navigate export barriers and/or access foreign markets.

The Training Grant only covers costs directly attributed to the delivery of the training.

The types of training that are NOT eligible include:

  • training that allows a business to comply with legislative and other regulatory requirements;
  • training considered part of what a well-managed business should provide to its workforce, through normal day to day operations;
  • training that is available to businesses through the state and territory Vocational Education and Training systems that are subsidised for employees;
  • training that is delivered by the applicant, lead member, or individual member of a consortium; or training delivered by a related party of the applicant, lead member or member of a consortium will not be deemed eligible expenditure. Related parties include:  companies/organisations with common shareholdings or directorship; and/or individuals, employees or immediate family related to the applicant; and
  • consultancy and related activities that do not build capability of a learner to the satisfaction of the Programme Delegate.

Will I be required to make a financial contribution?

Businesses that are awarded funding under the Industry Skills Fund – Growth Stream must financially co-contribute to the proposed project. The amount you are required to contribute will depend on the size of your business.

If successful in applying for an Industry Skills Fund Training Grant, the amount you will have to co-contribute will depend on how many Full Time Equivalent (FTE) employees you have.

You’ll be required to pay the following percentage of the total project cost:

  • Micro Business (0 – 4 FTE employees) – 25%
  • Small Business (5 – 19 FTE employees) – 34%
  • Medium Business (20 – 199 FTE employees) – 50%
  • Large Business (200+ FTE employees) – 75%

Co-contributions must be in cash. In-kind contributions will not be accepted.

Note:  Co-contribution requirements do not apply to Industry Skills Fund Skills Advice, as this is delivered free of charge to eligible businesses.

What kinds of businesses will the fund assist?

The fund is targeting SMEs, including micro businesses, which are preparing to take up growth opportunities outside of their normal day-to-day business operations. If you are a large business, you are also eligible, but you will be required to make a higher contribution to the costs of training.

The fund will also focus on businesses in identified priority industries such as: 

  • Food and agribusiness;
  • Mining equipment, technology and services;
  • Medical technolegies, pharmaceuticals;
  • Oil, gas and energy resources;
  • Advanced manufacturing, and
  • Enabling technology and services industries that support one or more of the priority areas listed above.

However, if your business isn’t in a priority industry, you may still be eligible to apply.

Who is eligible to apply?

You can apply as an individual business or through a consortium. If your business is NOT eligible individually, you may still be eligible as a consortium member.

For further information refer to the Customer Information Guide, with further detail available in the Merit Assessment Guide.  

Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions compiled by the Australian Government, or call us on 1300 159 000 or Contact Us to set up a meaningful discussion.