The recently established Federal Government Industry Skills Fund has been developed for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), including micro businesses, who are preparing to expand outside of their normal day-to-day business operations. Funding will be given to help eligible businesses build the highly skilled workforce needed to take advantage of new business growth opportunities and adapt to rapid technological change. That is, funding can be used to invest in training and support services and to develop innovative training solutions.
Help is offered in the following categories:
Skills Advice Help identifying skills opportunities and maximising training outcomes.
Training Grant Co-investment for businesses looking to improve the skills of their workforce for an identified growth opportunity.
Note: Businesses may access one or both of these assistance categories depending on business need, eligibility and merit.
There is an expected co-contribution amount for all businesses, the amount a business will have to co-contribute will depend on how many Full Time Equivalent (FTE) employees that business has.
i.e: the business will 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.
To ensure that businesses do not ‘waste their time’ completing a full application and it being rejected, businesses are asked to complete a very short on-line enquiry form that consists of a series of questions that will determine whether the business:
- is eligible
- has identified a growth opportunity, and if so, what the opportunity is
- is in a priority industry
- has identified a related skills need, and if so, what the need is
- has found a training solution, and if so, what the solution is
More information on the Fund can be found at: http://www.business.gov.au/grants-and-assistance/Industry-Skills-Fund/Pages/default.aspx