Frequently Asked Questions

 

Here are the answers to questions employers often ask about Smart and Skilled.

Fee Free Apprenticeships

If your apprentice started their training with their training provider before 1 July 2018 you are not eligible for a refund.

If your apprentice’s training with their training provider does not start until 1 July 2018 or later, you should contact the training provider to arrange a refund.

If your apprentice started their training with their training provider before 1 July 2018 you are not eligible for a refund.

If your apprentice’s training with their training provider does not start until 1 July 2018 or later, you should contact the training provider to arrange a refund.

As long as the training provider has not commenced training delivery with your apprentice before 1 July 2018, you will not have to pay a fee. This applies even if you signed a training contract before 1 July 2018.

Yes, fee-free apprenticeship training is only for apprenticeships which start their training with their training provider from 1 July 2018 or later. You will still need to pay the outstanding fee to the training provider.

Smart and Skilled training

Smart and Skilled ensures a supply of skilled workers for businesses in NSW, as people take up government-subsidised training and enter the workforce.

Workers and employers have a wide range of government-subsidised courses and approved training providers to choose from. There is also targeted funding of higher-level training and part qualifications in priority industries, subject to availability of training places.

A single set of fees apply to government-subsidised courses delivered by TAFE NSW Institutes, Adult and Community Education colleges and private providers approved to deliver training under Smart and Skilled.

All apprenticeship qualifications and most traineeship qualifications for trainees who are new entrants are subsidised under Smart and Skilled.

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 refer to the Smart and Skilled Fee Administration Policy. 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 refer to the Smart and Skilled Fee Administration Policy. For eligible trainees there will be no requirement to pay the fee.

The NSW Skills List identifies the qualifications eligible for a government subsidy under Smart and Skilled. Developed through extensive industry and community consultation and labour market research, the Skills List includes a wide range of vocational qualifications to support the diverse skills needs of NSW employers.

The Skills List enables people in NSW to make more informed choices about their training, knowing that Smart and Skilled courses can give people the skills they need to get a job, advance their career or continue onto further study.

The Skills List covers all industry sectors in NSW and includes qualifications up to Advanced Diploma. All NSW apprenticeships and most new entrant traineeships are also on the Skills List.

View the NSW Skills List.

If a person is:

  • 15 years old or over, and
  • no longer at school (excluding home-schooled students), and
  • living or working in NSW (or an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person living in specific NSW border areas, and
  • an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, Australian humanitarian visa holder or New Zealand citizen

or

  • a NSW apprentice or a new entrant trainee

They may be eligible to enrol in a government-subsidised course with an approved Smart and Skilled training provider.

NSW apprentices and most new-entrant trainees are eligible for a government subsidy for the training that supports their apprenticeship or traineeship.

Previous qualifications do not affect eligibility, but may affect the student fee. If the student has a post-school qualification, they will pay a higher fee for their Smart and Skilled training than someone who does not have any qualifications.

View Are you eligible? for Smart and Skilled training.

Smart and Skilled supports disadvantaged students by offering fee exemptions to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) students, students with disabilities and the dependants of Disability Support Pension recipients. Fee concessions are also available to students receiving Australian Government welfare benefits and the dependants of Australian Government welfare recipients.

Lower-cost foundation skills courses are available for people who want help with language, literacy or numeracy skills to help them get a job or do a vocational course.

Training providers are compensated through a top up to the subsidy, called a loading, for the typical additional costs associated with providing training to specific categories of disadvantaged students. This is important for meeting equity objectives, as it ensures there is no financial disincentive for training providers to enrol these students.

View Smart and Skilled training for disadvantaged students.

Smart and Skilled helps regional students access quality training in a number of ways.

For example, the courses on the NSW Skills List are relevant to industry needs across NSW and have good job prospects.

Through this Smart and Skilled website, regional students have improved access to published information on courses and training providers in their regions. Students can search for the courses delivered in their region through the Course Finder.

Approved Smart and Skilled training providers also receive a top up to the subsidy (called a loading) for training delivered in regional and remote locations to ensure there is no financial disincentive to deliver training in regional areas.

All NSW apprentices and new-entrant trainees in traineeships on the NSW Skills List are eligible for a government subsidy under Smart and Skilled for the qualification that supports their apprenticeship or traineeship.

Apprentices, eligible new-entrant trainees and their employers can choose an approved Smart and Skilled training provider that best meets their needs. Their choice of training provider does not affect the fee that is paid. The fee they pay is the same regardless of which approved Smart and Skilled training provider they choose.

Rather than paying yearly or by semester, apprentices and eligible trainees under Smart and Skilled pay a fee for the qualification. They may still pay in instalments over a number of years, but the fee is an amount for the qualification, fixed at the time the apprentice or trainee commences.

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 vet.nsw.gov.au. 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 vet.nsw.gov.au. For eligible trainees there will be no requirement to pay the fee.

View Smart and Skilled apprenticeship and traineeship qualifications.

Approved Smart and Skilled training providers determine the payment arrangements for their students. They must publish information about these arrangements and must inform students about them before enrolment.

If the student meets the Smart and Skilled eligibility conditions to undertake a qualification and if they don't have any post-school qualifications, they will pay the lower fee for their first Smart and Skilled subsidised course.

Holding a previous qualification does not affect a students eligibility to undertake training under Smart and Skilled, however it does affect the student fee.

They will pay a higher fee for any subsequent Smart and Skilled courses they undertake.