Funding for Training
Training does not need to be an expensive cost to a company. There are a number of nationwide programs that enable businesses or individuals to access full or partial funding towards their training costs. For the Transport and Logistics industry the South Australian and the Federal government provide the two main sources of external applicable funding for training.
The Skills for All initiative since 2012 has provided funding to pay for Certificate I to Advanced Diploma qualifications. Under Skills for All, eligible students (which cover most South Australians) may be entitled to subsidised or fee-free courses through Skills for All providers. Qualifications at certificate level I and II are fully funded which means there are no course fees (there may be some incidental fees). Qualifications at certificate III level and above and Skill Sets are partly government funded and students or businesses will be expected to pay a course fee as well as any relevant incidental fees unless the course is identified as a Priority Course. Priority Courses have been identified for their strategic importance to the State. The Priority Course list is updated frequently so check http://www.skills.sa.gov.au/ to see if your identified course is listed as a priority.
For those looking at how to go about accessing subsidised or free training Skills for All has an Infoline that can provide further information. They can be contacted on 1800 506 266. It may be useful to have undertaken a Workforce Development Plan as outlined earlier in the document.
The federal government too provides training funding assistance to business. The federal government website www.business.gov.au is an online resource detailing federal funding initiatives for training. Currently the Federal Government is providing training funds through the new $476 million Industry Skills Fund – Growth Stream. The Industry Skills Fund is a key element in the Australian Government’s Industry Innovation and Competiveness Agenda and is to provide up to 200,000 training places and support services over four years.
While Transport and Logistics has not been identified as a priority industry, T&L businesses often have operational overlaps with other industries such as advanced manufacturing, mining, food and agribusiness – all of which are included on the list of priority industries. Businesses need apply to access funding, and will need to demonstrate how their application meets certain criteria. One of which includes how the proposed project will address critical skills gaps or shortages, and allow the business to be more competitive for a identified growth opportunity. Again completing the previously outlined Workforce Development Plan will aid this process. For more information on the fund see www.business.gov.au or call their dedicated single business service on 13 28 46.
Identify Funding Opportunities
Outside of making contact with the state and federal departments responsible for their training initiatives, getting in touch with a local Skills for All registered RTO can be a good place to start. They will likely be able to discuss in greater detail your exact skill requirements and discuss if there are any funding initiatives that can be applied for. To search for a course and training provider in your area you can utilise the ‘Find a Training Provider’ tool from www.skills.sa.gov.au.
The Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council (TLISC) is available to assist transport and logistics organisations with their workforce development and planning activities. They may be able to pinpoint funding initiatives that can reduce the cost of training to transport and logistics organisations. See www.tlisc.org.au to find out more details.