NSW Smart & Skilled Funding

Smart and Skilled, an initiative by the NSW Government, provides subsidised training in sought-after skills and industries. Established in 2015, the program has successfully provided training in essential qualifications, focusing on specific geographic and occupational sectors. The last extensive opportunity for registered training organizations (RTOs) to participate in Smart and Skilled was in 2017. The application process for Smart and Skilled ensures that both prospective and existing providers offer optimal training solutions aligned with geographic, occupational, and industry requirements, contributing to the program’s effectiveness in meeting diverse training sector needs.

Smart and Skilled provides eligible students with:

  • 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.

Am I eligible?

Are you:

  • 15 years old or over?
  • no longer at school?
  • living or working in NSW?
  • an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, humanitarian visa holder or New Zealand citizen?

If you answered ‘Yes’ to all four questions, you’re eligible for Smart and Skilled training.

Other Eligibility Conditions

Your eligibility is not affected if you have completed a vocational education and training (VET) course, including a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship, as part of your high school education.

There are also some exceptions to the eligibility conditions described above, such as for Aboriginal people.

Apprentices & Trainees

NSW apprentices and some new-entrant trainees may be eligible for a government subsidy for the training that supports their apprenticeship or traineeship.

Under the NSW Government fee-free traineeship initiative, NSW new entrant trainees that commence their training on or after 1 January 2020 may be eligible for fee-free training. For eligible trainees there will be no requirement to pay the fee.

Types of Courses You’re Eligible For

Your eligibility for a government-subsidised Smart and Skilled course no longer depends on previous qualifications:

  • From 2016, all students, regardless of the level of any previous qualifications held, are able to access subsidised Smart and Skilled training up to Certificate III level. This means that even if you have a higher-level qualification you may still be eligible to re-train to enter (or re-enter) the workforce. Previous qualifications do not affect eligibility, but may affect the student fee.
  • You can also enrol in subsidised training at Certificate IV, Diploma or Advanced Diploma level, depending on the availability of funding for these courses.