For Employers - Smart and Skilled
Find out if your staff are eligible for NSW Government-subsidised vocational education and training under Smart and Skilled.
What's Smart and Skilled?
Smart and Skilled gives eligible students:
- an entitlement to government-subsidised training up to and including Certificate III
- government funding for higher-level courses (Certificate IV and above) in targeted priority areas.
Vocational education and training (VET) gives people workplace skills and technical knowledge. The training offers a structured program designed by industry experts and based on industry needs.
For more about VET:
- Download Strengthen your business with vocational education and training
- See our Apprentice and Trainee Employer pages and VET pages
- Contact Training Services NSW
Courses and Providers
Workers and employers in NSW can choose from a range of Smart and Skilled government-subsidised courses.
Subject to the availability of training places there’s also:
- targeted funding of higher-level training
- part qualifications in priority industries.
The NSW Skills List defines the courses subsidised under Smart and Skilled. It has been developed through extensive consultation with industry and community organisations.
For a full list of government-subsidised courses with training providers:
Approved Smart and Skilled training providers in NSW include TAFE NSW, Adult and Community Education (ACE) providers and private training organisations.
If you’re paying an employee’s fee for training, always consult with them on their preferred training provider.
Who is eligible?
Smart and Skilled course participants may include people who are:
- a NSW apprentice or trainee (see section below)
or meet the following eligibility requirements
- 15 years old or over
- no longer at school or home-schooled students
- living or working in NSW (or an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person living in specific NSW border areas)
- an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, humanitarian visa holder or New Zealand citizen.
Check the Smart and Skilled Student Eligibility Policy.
Also see eligibility at Skills NSW
Young people (aged 15-30) may be eligible to apply for a Smart and Skilled Fee-Free Scholarship
Smart and Skilled also supports disadvantaged students by providing:
- Fee exemptions to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, students with disabilities and the dependants of certain pension recipients. See Disadvantaged students and Subsidised training for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- Fee-free foundation skills courses for people who want help with language, literacy or numeracy skills. See NSW Skills List.
Apprentices and trainees
Government funding is available for the formal training component of apprenticeships and most traineeships. Some employers are responsible for paying the fees for their apprentices. This varies according to the award.
Here’s how the subsidies work under Smart and Skilled:
- All apprenticeship qualifications are subsidised under Smart and Skilled. Some are eligible for fee free training (from 2018). See Smart and Skilled Fee Administration Policy
- Most traineeship qualifications for trainees who are new entrants are subsidised under Smart and Skilled. NSW new entrant trainees that commence training on or after 1 January 2020 may be eligible for fee free training. See Smart and Skilled Fee Administration Policy.
See For employers - apprentices and trainees for more about formal and workplace training.
Targeting skills of existing and new workers
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. See Tailor-made training for your business brochure
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. It’s the student's responsibility to make a complaint. See Smart and Skilled Consumer protection for students.
Employers of apprentices and trainees have a separate complaints-handling process, as outlined in the relevant training contract. Also see Resolving issues at work
Fees for Smart and Skilled
A single set of fees apply to government-subsidised courses delivered by approved 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. Smart and Skilled fees are set for the full qualification, not yearly or by semester. See our prices, fees and subsidies page.
Smart and Skilled providers must advise students before they enrol of any charges additional to the student fee. This may include optional training equipment and associated expenses like food and transport.