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Jun 11, 2015

In the last few months, the Federal government has released two new grant programs, which offer significant benefits, not only to employees, also to the businesses.  These grants are:

·          Industry Skills Fund

·          Training for Employment Scholarship


Industry Skills Fund

The Industry Skills Fund has different levels of benefit available, depending on a number of full-time equivalent (FTE) employees that are employed by the business.  These range from:

·          Micro businesses (0-4 FTE employees) – 75%

·          Small businesses (5-19 FTE employees) – 66%

·          Medium businesses (20-199 FTE employees) – 50%

·          Large businesses (200+ FTE employees) – 25%


Your business contribution towards this scheme must be paid in cash.


The purpose of this grant is to assist businesses to access training so the businesses are better placed to succeed in a rapidly-changing economy.


The Industry Skills Fund has identified “priority industries”, including:

·          Food and Agribusiness

·          Mining Equipment Technology and Services

·          Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals

·          Oil, Gas and Energy Resources

·          Advanced Manufacturing

·          Enabling technology and service industries that support one or more of the priority industries listed, including:

-          Freight and Logistics

-          Infrastructure Related Construction

-          Information and Communication Technology

-          Professional Services


The government believes that these priority sectors are the industries where Australia enjoys a competitive advantage and is likely to have an opportunity to exploit favourable global market conditions or has a significant impact on the Australian economy.


Applicants who are within the priority industries will be fast tracked through a streamline assessment process.


However, applicants that don’t fall under the priority industries are still able to apply.  Indeed, if you have a worthwhile skills development program, you should apply.


In the application, the applicant will need to clearly show that they will have a significant growth potential and are prepared to reposition their business to take advantage of economic opportunities.


The program presents some tremendous opportunities for businesses to undertake some worthwhile skills development, with the government paying a significant amount of the cost.


Improving employment prospects for young people

The government has also released a pilot program, Training for Employment Scholarship, which will run until 31st March 2016.  This program is targeted at businesses employing less than 200 FTE employees and is located in specified outer metropolitan and regional areas, including:

·          New South Wales:

-          Central Coast

-          Hunter Valley (excluding Newcastle)

-          Sydney-Outer Western/Blue Mountains

·          Queensland:

-      Sunshine Coast

-      Ipswich

-      Townsville

·          Victoria:

-      Mornington Peninsula

-      Melbourne-West

·          South Australia:

-      Adelaide-North

·          Western Australia:

-      Perth-Southwest

·          Tasmania:

-      Launceston-Northeast


The objective of this program is to provide businesses with greater access to appropriately skilled workers in their region and improve job prospects for young people, by providing incentives for employers to take on new workers.


Participants in the training must meet the following criteria:

·          age 18-24 years from the date of employment;

·          an Australian citizen, permanent resident or have working rights in Australia;

·          employed by the business;

·          agrees to undertake the training specified in the funding application; and

·          hasn’t been in full-time employment or full-time study prior to commencing employment with the business.


The training must be delivered over a 26-week period.


The grant will reimburse businesses training costs of up to $7,500 (including GST) per eligible employee.


Professional Advice

If you’re interested in applying for either of these grants, your accountant can assist you in the application process.  However, if your accountant doesn’t wish to be involved in government grants and you need some assistance, please don’t hesitate to send an email to, with your location and postcode, and we will send you an introduction to an accountant/adviser whom we know will be able to deliver this service for you.


ESS BIZTOOLS has developed hundreds of articles on government grants and other initiatives for business improvement for small/medium enterprises, including ‘Industry Skills Fund’.  If you wish to access this free material, please click here to sign up.


If you have any questions or suggestions on future items to be covered in Survival Hints for Small Business, please don’t hesitate to contact us.



Peter Towers

Managing Director

1800 232 088