Grant updates

4 May 2023: Applications for 2022–23 funding round closed.

3 August 2023: 2022–23 funding round projects announced - view the funded projects list (XLSX, 19KB).

Program overview

The Indigenous Workforce and Skills Development Grant (IWSDG) program funds Indigenous designed and led projects that support or respond to local training and workforce needs.

The IWSDG program recognises that skills and training for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will be more successful when solutions are designed and developed locally and supported by the community.

The program aims to create training and employment pathways for up to 800 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to increase their likelihood of greater economic and social participation.

There will be 1 funding round held each year, for 2 years up until 2023–24, under a transparent and contestable application process.

Grant delivery schedule

Funding year

Opening date

Closing date


22 February 2023

04 May 2023


November 2023 (to be confirmed)

February 2024 (to be confirmed)

Who the program supports

The IWSDG program specifically targets Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who are seeking local training and employment opportunities.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples may also be indirectly assisted with local Indigenous and non-Indigenous employers being supported to create culturally safe and responsive workplaces.

The selection of participants is at the discretion of the funded organisation, subject to the eligibility criteria and in consultation with the Department of Youth Justice, Employment Small Business and Training (DYJESBT).

This program must be delivered at no cost to participants.

The IWSDG program has a project-based delivery model and will fund Indigenous-led projects to address a training and skills challenge or opportunity, with a specific focus on activities that support job outcomes and improved economic participation and advantage.

We expect local solutions and new approaches will be developed to:

  • support transitions from school to training or work
  • increase training completions
  • build local workforce capability
  • ensure local non-Indigenous businesses have culturally safe workplaces.

We encourage Indigenous organisations to offer flexible projects that can be customised to meet individual needs and you can include a mix of the following services and activities:

  • delivery of fit for purpose, regionally responsive and culturally safe training approaches that are adapting to changing job markets and skills needs
  • development of training products to build cultural capability for transformed workplace practices
  • delivery of, or referrals to, nationally recognised training to gain qualifications up to advanced diploma level
  • delivery of 'soft' or 'enterprise' skills to promote job mobility and adaptive capacity
  • delivery of foundation skills (i.e. language, literacy, numeracy, digital and employability skills)
  • blue card, yellow card, first aid training or tickets such as general construction induction (white card), forklift licence, work safely at heights
  • wrap around support (e.g. meal programs, subsidised travel costs, interview outfits, driver licence assistance, case management)
  • delivery of integrated learner support (e.g. career advice, resume writing, job search techniques and job readiness skills)
  • provision of health and wellbeing support
  • assistance with formal identification (e.g. birth certificates, Medicare cards, tax file numbers)
  • provision of work experience opportunities
  • connection to local employers and/or peak industry bodies to advise on career options, workplace expectations and promote networking opportunities
  • education sessions and workshops to increase cultural competency of local non-Indigenous employers to support employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander job seekers
  • provision of ongoing career coaching and mentoring
  • culturally customised business training to support self-employment and build business skills
  • applied research and/or course development and product design
  • provision of post-employment support.


The IWSDG program will fund Indigenous organisations to deliver place-based projects that have a focus on assisting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people into employment while addressing local training or workforce concern for the community. The intent of this program is not to provide direct funding to individual Indigenous businesses to assist with expenses relating to core business activity such as operating costs, recruitment costs, staff attraction, wages, staff training and business development within your own organisation.

The following entities are not eligible to apply:

  • Indigenous businesses registered as an individual/sole trader
  • Indigenous businesses registered as partnerships.

Organisations applying for funding must be:

  • an Indigenous organisation, including:
    • Indigenous councils, corporations, organisations and institutes
    • Indigenous community groups and neighbourhood centres
    • Indigenous social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations
    • Indigenous business groups and chambers of commerce
  • able to demonstrate they have a strong local presence, including well-established community and employer relationships
  • registered for goods and services tax (GST).

Partnership arrangements between eligible organisations are strongly encouraged as there may be benefits to connecting and collaborating to generate effective solutions.

Funding available

A maximum of $250,000 of funding is available per project, for 12 months of delivery.

The amount of funding will be dependent on:

  • the location of project delivery
  • nature of the training and employment support to be provided
  • number of participants to be assisted
  • the additional activities or specialist services to be provided.

How to apply

There will be 1 funding round held each year, for 2 years up until 2023–24, under a transparent contestable application process.

One lead Indigenous organisation is to apply for and manage funding for each project.

Application process

Applications for the 2022–23 funding round closed 4 May 2023 – view the funded projects list (XLSX, 19KB).

The funding round for 2023–24 is expected to open in November 2023.

Draft project proposal

Before applying, you are encouraged to submit a draft project proposal (DOCX, 617KB) to for review and feedback by your local DYJESBT Principal Indigenous Program Officer.

You can submit your draft project proposal at any time, however be aware of the funding round closing dates so that you allow enough time for feedback to be provided.

Information sessions

During each funding round, we will be running information sessions across Queensland for interested organisations. More details to come.

Program documents

Strategy overview

Paving the Way – the First Nations Training Strategy is the Queensland Government's plan to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' skills development and respond to local and community employment needs.

The $8.3 million strategy is a key commitment under the $200 million Future Skills Fund, which is focused on building the skills needed for future jobs and ensuring every Queenslander has the opportunity to participate.

Paving the Way is also supporting the Good people. Good jobs: Queensland Workforce Strategy 2022–32 to ensure Queensland has trained people to strengthen our communities and keep Queensland at the forefront of new economic opportunities.

Paving the Way includes actions and initiatives to help drive job opportunities across 3 focus areas:

  1. Indigenous-led training and workforce solutions
  2. Skills and training pathways that meet local workforce needs
  3. Cultural awareness and competency.

Contact us

For general enquiries about the Indigenous Workforce and Skills Development Grant program, email or phone 1300 369 935.

For specific enquiries about your application, contact your local DYJESBT regional office.

Last updated 3 August 2023

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