Information for employers


Wheat farmerSmart and Skilled supports the skills development of the NSW workforce to meet the state's future demand for jobs. Workers and employers in NSW have a wide range of government-subsidised courses and approved training providers to choose from.

Supporting industry's skills needs

NSW industry is helping to shape funding priorities to meet the state's skills needs.

The NSW Skills List, which defines the courses subsidised under Smart and Skilled, is the product of research and extensive consultation with industry and community organisations. It enables people in NSW to make more informed choices about their training.

Smart and Skilled ensures a supply of skilled workers, as people in NSW access subsidised training and enter the workforce. There is also targeted funding available for higher-level training and part qualifications in priority industries.

Go to the Course Finder to search for government-subsidised qualifications.

Strengthen your business with vocational education and training

Vocational education and training (VET) provides people with the workplace skills and technical knowledge they need to meet current and future employment demands. Employers all over Australia hold VET qualifications in high regard. They know VET delivers a structured program designed by industry experts that coaches students through the specific skills industry needs.

To learn more about:

  • integrating VET into your business to gain a competitive edge
  • why recruit an apprentice or trainee
  • how apprenticeships and traineeships work
  • all about school-based apprenticeships and traineeships; and
  • getting started

download Strengthen your business with vocational education and training brochure [Pdf 1483KB]

Greater choice

Smart and Skilled offers a wide range of approved training providers – including TAFE NSW, Adult and Community Education (ACE) colleges and private training providers – to meet the training needs of employees.

If you pay the student fee for your employee, you are encouraged to consult with them on their choice of training provider.

You can go to the Course Finder to find out which training providers are approved to deliver Smart and Skilled training.

Tailor-made training for your business

Keeping your staff up-to-date or finding employees with the right skills for your business is now easier. And it's fully subsidised by the NSW Government.

The Smart and Skilled Targeted Priorities Prevocational and Part Qualification (TPPPQ) Program connects businesses and training providers to ensure you can keep the skills of your existing and new workers up-to-date. It also helps staff develop the skills they need to transition into new roles.

Download Tailor-made training for your business brochure [Pdf 1730KB] for further details.

Fee arrangements

A single set of fees applies to government-subsidised training delivered by approved public, community and private providers. The student fee will be the same regardless of the Smart and Skilled provider the student chooses to deliver the Smart and Skilled qualification. View fee arrangements.

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Apprentices and trainees

Government funding is available for the formal training component of apprenticeships and most new-entrant traineeships. Under Smart and Skilled, all apprenticeship and most traineeship qualifications are subsidised. Training for existing-worker trainees is not subsidised. View training for apprentices and trainees.

Under the NSW Government fee-free apprenticeship initiative, NSW apprentices that commence their training on or after 1 July 2018 may be eligible for fee free training. For more information, go to For eligible apprentices there will be no requirement to pay the fee.

Under the NSW Government  fee-free traineeship initiative, NSW new entrant trainees that commence their training on or after 1 January 2020 may be eligible for fee free training. For more information, go to For eligible trainees there will be no requirement to pay the fee.

How students enrol

To enrol in a Smart and Skilled course, people need to check their eligibility, find the right course and approved Smart and Skilled training provider, get an estimate of their fee and obtain a unique student identifier (USI). View how students enrol

Consumer protection

If you're not satisfied with your employee's Smart and Skilled course or its delivery, you are encouraged to support your employee to address any concerns, as it is the student's responsibility to make a complaint. View Consumer protection for more information.

Employers of apprentices and trainees have a separate complaints handling process, as outlined in the relevant training contract.

Questions about Smart and Skilled

To find out more about Smart and Skilled, check out the answers to questions that employers often ask.

FAQs for Employers - fee-free apprenticeships

View frequently asked questions about fee-free apprenticeships.

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Page last updated: 29 March 2021