Industry Skills Fund

Tell me about the assistance

Assists industry to invest in training and support services to help businesses achieve growth.

  • Status: Open (accepting applications)
  • Applications close: Ongoing
  • Delivered by: Department of Education and Training


A highly skilled workforce is a priority for Australia. Employees that can adapt to rapid technological and structural change will help businesses take advantage of new growth opportunities.

To help businesses achieve their growth, the fund offers one or both of the following:

  • Skills advice - a service to help businesses identify skills needs and maximise training outcomes.
  • Training grant - to help businesses with the cost of training.

The fund primarily targets micro, small and medium businesses. Large businesses can also apply for a training grant, but they will need to make a higher contribution to the costs of training.

Read about how our customers are using the Industry Skills Fund to grow their business.

What support or funding is available?

Skills advice

To be eligible to apply for skills advice you must be a micro, small or medium-sized business. Skills advice is free of charge. An expert, independent Skills Adviser will help you to identify the skills you need to achieve growth.

You will receive a tailored report that includes training strategies. You can then apply for a training grant to help pay for some of your training costs.

To find out more about skills advice go to Sections 4.1, 7.2.1 and 9.2 of the Customer Information Guide.

Training grant

The training grant will cover part of your training costs. The amount you receive depends on how many Full Time Equivalent (FTE) employees you have. You will need to pay:

  • 25% if you are a micro business (0-4 FTE employees)
  • 34% if you are a small business (5-19 FTE employees)
  • 50% if you are a medium business (20-199 FTE employees)
  • 75% if you are a large business (200+ FTE employees).

If your business operates in northern Australia or wants to expand into northern Australia, you will need to pay:

  • 25% if you are a micro, small or medium business (0-199 FTE employees)
  • 50% if you are a large business (200+ FTE employees).

You must cover all costs not directly related to the delivery of the training in full.

To find out more about the type of training the fund supports, go to Sections 3.2 and 4 of the Customer Information Guide.

Who can apply?

You can apply as an individual business or through a consortium.

Individual businesses, and each member of a consortium that applies, must:

  • be solvent
  • be non tax-exempt or be a trust with a trustee that is non tax-exempt
  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • be registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  • have filed Business Activity Statements showing ongoing trading in at least three successive years and
  • not be named by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency as an organisation that has not complied with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Cth).

Consortia can only apply for funding if there are at least three beneficiaries of the fund. For example:

  • a lead member and three individual members
  • or a lead member and two individual members, where the lead member is also a beneficiary of the fund.

You cannot apply if you are a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) or delivering training. This includes Enterprise RTOs.

To find out more about applying, go to Sections 5 and 8 of the Customer Information Guide and Priority Industries.

What are the eligibility criteria?

A key requirement for a business to receive a training grant is to show how the training will help them achieve a growth opportunity. Training covering a business’ usual day-to-day activities or regulatory requirements will not be funded.

Examples of growth opportunities are:

  • diversifying into new or emerging markets
  • adopting new or emerging technologies
  • entering export markets
  • responding to significant domestic market opportunities
  • repositioning because of market driven structural adjustment.

The fund will prioritise businesses in the industries listed below. If your business isn’t in a priority industry, you may still be eligible to apply. Priority industries are:

  • advanced manufacturing
  • food and agribusiness
  • medical technologies and pharmaceuticals
  • mining equipment, technology and services
  • oil, gas and energy resources
  • enabling technologies and services that support one or more of the priority industries above.

To find out more about eligibility, go to Sections 5 and 6 of the Customer Information Guide and Priority Industries.

What are the merit criteria?

Skills advice

You do not have to address any merit criteria to receive skills advice.

Training grant

You will need to address each of the merit criteria, which have equal value. You will need to show that:

  1. you will position your business to take up a growth opportunity
  2. your project will deliver benefits to the Australian economy
  3. your project will address your critical skills gaps or shortages, and help your business to be more competitive
  4. your project provides good value for money
  5. you, and the training provider, have the resources and capacity to complete the project.

If you have received a Skills Advice Report which suggests training, you will only need to address merit criteria D and E in your application.

To find out more about merit criteria, go to the Merit Assessment Guide and Section 9 of the Customer Information Guide.

How do I apply?

Before you start preparing an application, you must read the Programme Guidelines and Customer Information Guide.

The first step in the application process is to complete the Industry Skills Fund Enquiry Form. Go to the I’m ready to apply tab, or call us on 13 28 46 for help.

A Customer Service Manager will then contact you to discuss your plans for growth and check if you are eligible for the fund.

Skills advice

If you need help to identify the skills and training your business needs, we may connect you to a Skills Adviser.

Training grant

If you already know the training your business needs, we will send you a link to the application form. You will need to complete the application form and attach pricing quotes for the training.

How will I know if I am successful?

Skills advice

A customer Service Manager will tell you if your business can receive skills advice when they respond to your enquiry. Then a Skills Adviser will contact you and arrange a time to discuss how to reach your growth goals.

Six organisations deliver Industry Skills Fund skills advice. These are:

  • AiGroup
  • MAX Solutions
  • Navitas Professional
  • Chisholm Institute
  • CITT and
  • QMI Solutions.

Training grant

We will assess your application against the merit criteria after you submit it. We will contact you with a decision in 15 business days. If we need extra information we may extend the assessment by 10 days.

You cannot start or pay for the training until you have approval for the funding.

Your employees will need to sign the Privacy Notice prior to undertaking any training.

If you are successful you will need to enter into a Funding Agreement within 21 days of being advised. You will also need to read and understand the Guide to Managing Your Grant.

To find out more about this process go to Section 9 of the Customer Information Guide.

How will payments be made?

All fund payments are made in arrears.

You can receive your training grant in one of three ways:

  1. Reimbursement – a single payment after you finish your training.
  2. Split payment – a payment in the first month of the project and a final payment after you complete your project.
  3. Multiple payments – regular payments to reimburse costs over the project period.

To find out more about grant payments, go to Section 10 of the Customer Information Guide.

Customer stories

Key documents

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