What is the User Choice Program?
The User Choice 2017-20 program provides a public funding contribution towards the cost of training and assessment for eligible apprentices and trainees.
The program is designed to provide employers and their apprentices and trainees with the ability to select their preferred registered training organisation (RTO) from a list of Queensland Government pre-qualified suppliers (PQS) for the delivery of the accredited training to meet their specific needs.
Can employees from my company participate in the User Choice program?
Yes they can. Many employers engage new entrants into their business through an apprenticeship or traineeship arrangement. Apprentices and trainees can be engaged in either a full-time or part-time training contract.
If you have existing employees that aspire to become formally qualified in their chosen occupation, then it may be appropriate that they enter into an apprenticeship or traineeship training contract as well. Information on the training available and the training providers that can assist is available on the Queensland Training Information Service (QTIS).
Note that not all apprenticeships and traineeships attract government funding.
Approved training providers
Employers and their apprentices and trainees can elect to do their training with their preferred RTO from a list of PQS.
To view the list of PQS available to deliver training for each funded apprenticeship or traineeship, search the Queensland Training Information Service (QTIS).
There is certain eligibility criteria that all parties are required to meet when employing an apprentice or trainee. This includes the requirement that the employer is willing to provide the workplace arrangements to support apprentices and trainees.
Which apprenticeships and traineeships are funded under the User Choice program?
The funding priority will determine the level of public funds contributed to training regardless of whether the qualification is an apprenticeship or traineeship.
Refer to the funding and pricing page in the User Choice section of this website for more information.
Can I employ an apprentice or trainee while the person is still at school?
Yes you can. School-based apprenticeships and Traineeships (SATs) are available in many occupations in Queensland. Students should be in either year 10, 11 or 12, but may be able to enter a SAT prior to starting year 10 in exceptional circumstances. In these circumstances, a business case must be submitted to the department and approved prior to commencing the SAT.
All SATs must be supported by the employer, the school, a supervising registered training organisation (referred to as the training organisation), and the parent or guardian. SATs are paid for the time spent working with their employer.
SATs receive funding for their training aligned to the priority level of the qualification.
Parties to the training contract for a SAT should be aware that there are a number of conditions that apply to the training contract, including the amount of training that a SAT can do while they are still attending school. There are also conditions related to the transition of a SAT into full-time or part-time apprenticeship/traineeship arrangements once school has been completed.
If you are an employer in the electrotechnology industry, please note that electrotechnology occupations have an application process that must be undertaken prior to the signing of the training contract.
Visit the Apprenticeships Info website for more information on school-based apprenticeships and traineeships.
Are there any rules I should be aware of in relation to funding?
Apprentices and trainees can only receive one government contribution for a User Choice funded qualification at any single point in time i.e. a student cannot be funded to undertake two apprenticeships or traineeships at the same time.
In addition, apprentices and trainees, including SATs, can only receive a maximum of two government funding contributions under the current User Choice program. A second qualification will only be funded if it has a higher priority ranking than the first qualification that has been completed.
There are also some other rules specifically related to funding for SATs, so students and their parents/guardians should discuss their intentions with their school's vocational education and training coordinator prior to signing up as a SAT. For employers, individuals, parents and guardians, Australian Apprenticeship Support Network providers are another good source of information.
Is there any other funding available for employers or apprentices and trainees?
There are a variety of incentives and loans available to employers, apprentices and trainees. These include incentives from the Queensland Government, Commonwealth Government and from industry bodies such as Construction Skills Queensland.
Visit the Apprenticeship and traineeship funding and incentives page of this website for more information on incentives.
Is there an employer contribution that I need to pay?
There may be some cases where a pre-qualified supplier may seek additional charges from an employer for the apprenticeship or traineeship. Any additional charges must be negotiated up-front and disclosed to the employer prior to the enrolment of the apprentice/trainee.
Visit the main User Choice section of this site for more information.
Visit the Employing and managing an apprentice or trainee section for more information on employing apprentices and trainees.