Funding announcements

21 March 2024: Applications for 2024–25 first funding round closed.
14 December 2023: 2023–24 second funding round projects announced. View funded project lists.

Work Skills Traineeships provide paid employment opportunities to disadvantaged Queenslanders while at the same time funding projects that leave a visible and long lasting impact on social infrastructure and services in a local community. For example, projects can:

  • create, repair and upgrade public spaces and facilities
  • undertake revegetation, regeneration and river or foreshore restorations
  • or
  • service the community through not-for-profit retail and hospitality outlets.

Program overview

In 2024–25, $37.35 million in funding will be available under Work Skills Traineeships to give long-term unemployed and disadvantaged job seekers access to tailored employment assistance and employment on community, public works and environmental projects.

Housing Construction Traineeship Fund

Additional funding of $2 million under the Housing Construction Traineeship Fund will be available in 2024–25 to expand the Work Skills Traineeships program to support residential and social housing projects to increase the participation of underrepresented cohorts in the housing and construction sector.

Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs Implementation Plan

An additional $3 million in funding will be provided in 2024–25 to support projects providing jobs to people experiencing mental ill-health and alcohol and other drug issues. This funding expands the Work Skills Traineeships program to support the Queensland Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs Implementation Plan.

Through Work Skills Traineeships, participants are employed full-time as entry-level trainees on work placement projects. There are 5 types of traineeships available at the certificate I level:

Work Skills TraineeshipsQualification
Business BSB10120 Certificate I in Workplace Skills
Construction CPC10120 Certificate I in Construction
Conservation and ecosystem management AHC10120 Certificate I in Conservation and Ecosystem Management
Hospitality SIT10222 Certificate I in Hospitality
Retail servicesSIR10116 Certificate I in Retail Services

Participants will:

  • earn a certificate I level qualification in business, construction, conservation and ecosystem management, hospitality or retail services
  • gain practical experience in real work situations that align with their training
  • be supported to build confidence and general life skills
  • complete paid work that can be included in their resumes
  • receive a mix of career advice, job preparation skills and foundation skills.

Funded projects

For job seekers, the best way to find a current Skilling Queenslanders for Work project is by navigating a map.

To view projects recently announced under the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative, go to the funded project lists.

Job seekers unite on food rescue project
Job seekers unite on food rescue project

Who does the program support?

Work Skills Traineeships primarily targets Queensland residents who are ineligible for Australian Government employment services or assistance.

Individuals accessing Australian Government services are eligible if they are disadvantaged and require complementary services, regardless of the length of time they have been unemployed or in receipt of assistance.

Work Skills Traineeships are focused on developing vocational and employability skills for long term unemployed and disadvantaged job seekers and providing them with a pathway to employment.

What can the program funds be used for?

Work Skills Traineeships funding can only be expended on costs directly associated with the delivery of the project including:

  • wages and on-costs for project coordinator and other delivery staff, trainee wages and on-costs for Work Skills Traineeships projects
  • administration costs such as rent, accommodation, venue hire, office supplies, advertising, travel costs, vehicle hire/lease
  • materials and equipment
  • support costs for the trainees such as learner driver training, subsidised travel, personal grooming or counselling services
  • overheads or operating costs (with the management fee not to exceed 5% of total funds).

What types of projects can be funded?

Work Skills Traineeships projects could include:

  • revegetation, regeneration and creek/river restoration works—repairs to riverbanks and foreshores
  • refurbishment of community buildings (not private residences)—sporting halls, aged care facilities, social enterprises, community centres and halls
  • minor infrastructure works—pergolas, seating, fencing, picnic tables and pre-fabricated structures
  • re-development of community spaces—sporting fields and parks requiring general landscaping and horticulture type works i.e. creation of garden beds, vegetable gardens, planting
  • track construction—construction of walking tracks, paving and pathways, or improvements to existing tracks
  • media activities—publication of community newsletters/magazines, or the development of a community website
  • event management activities—organising community careers expos, community workshops or cultural celebrations
  • community retail and hospitality outlets—providing customer service in not-for-profit organisations or council owned and operated social enterprise cafes, restaurants, tourism centres, opportunity shops, recycling centres and plant nurseries
  • host placement (with not-for-profit organisations only)—this model should be the exception rather than the norm, and is usually reserved for Work Skills Business Traineeships where it may be difficult to place a large number of participants at one work site, or to assist groups such as people with disability or from a culturally and linguistically diverse background.

Each project or intake must range in length or duration between 18–26 weeks.

Who can apply for funding?

Local councils, volunteer organisations, neighbourhood centres, youth, sporting, church and environmental organisations, peak industry bodies and other advocacy groups that can organise relevant projects that benefit the broader community are encouraged to apply for Work Skills Traineeships funding.

The delivery of training and assessment services for Work Skills Traineeships is funded under the User Choice program. A supervising registered training organisation (SRTO) must be engaged to provide training and assessment services to the trainees in line with their training plan. The SRTO must be approved as a Skills Assure supplier (SAS) under the User Choice program. Work Skills Traineeships are fully exempt from student contribution fees under User Choice.

Organisation checklist

Organisations applying for funding to deliver Work Skills Traineeships projects will need to:

  • contact the local DESBT regional office to discuss the application (call 1300 369 935)
  • demonstrate previous success in delivering similar programs and achieving outcomes or demonstrate capacity to manage and locally deliver a work placement project
  • have the support and appropriate approval from council or other community/government agencies to undertake works if on public lands or involving works to public buildings
  • employ, or be able to employ, suitably experienced and qualified staff to provide appropriate supervision, training and support to participants
  • offer a variety of work activities, in line with the Work Skills Traineeship being undertaken, to ensure participants acquire a broad range of skills that will increase their competitiveness in the job market and assist them to secure ongoing employment
  • allow sufficient time for participants to learn new skills and establish a routine of attending work, in a supportive but structured environment.

How to apply

Applications are accepted during two open funding rounds each year.

First and second rounds generally open February/March and August/September respectively.

To learn more about the application process and how to apply, go to the Skilling Queenslanders for Work applications page.

Program documents

Work Skills Traineeships Guidelines for funding 2024–25 (PDF, 568KB)

Work Skills Traineeships 2024–25 fact sheet (PDF, 307KB)

Sample Skilling Queenslanders for Work Services Agreement (PDF, 616KB)

Contact us

Phone 1300 369 935

Community organisations and other eligible organisations with specific enquiries regarding project proposals can contact their local DESBT regional office or email

Last updated 10 June 2024

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