The Higher Level Skills program provides eligible individuals with access to a subsidised training place in selected certificate IV level or above qualifications, and priority skill sets.

The aim is to assist individuals to gain the higher level skills required to secure employment or career advancement in priority industries or to transition to university to continue their studies. Employers may also be able to access training to address workforce development needs.

What training is available?

Subsidies are provided for a select number of certificate IV, diploma and advanced diploma level qualifications, and priority skill sets critical to productivity within the workplace.

The full list of subsidised qualifications and skill sets is available on the Priority Skills List.

Restrictions and/or exemptions may apply to enrolment in certain subsidised courses based on industry advice and national training package requirements and these are detailed in the Priority Skills List.

How does the program work?

The list of registered training organisations (RTOs) approved to deliver each subsidised qualification or skill set is published on the Queensland Skills Gateway.

Individuals and employers are free to choose their preferred RTO from this list. The subsidy is paid directly to the RTO as training is delivered and reported to the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training.

How can RTOs participate?

RTOs must be pre-approved by the department as a Skills Assure supplier (SAS) to deliver training and assessment services. Read more on becoming a SAS.

What level of subsidy is available?

The subsidy represents the level of government contribution for a qualification and varies between qualifications based on a number of factors.

The investment priority or importance of the training influences the size of the government subsidy. Training in vocational areas that align with critical industry skills needs and government priorities will receive a higher government subsidy.

A higher subsidy will also be paid to support participation by concessional students, such as disadvantaged learners, and for training delivered locally in identified country and remote areas of Queensland, and Cape York and the Torres Strait.

The full list of subsidy levels for qualifications and skills sets is listed in the Priority Skills List.

Does the individual need to contribute to the cost of training?

Individuals undertaking training must contribute to their training costs through a co-contribution fee.

While the fee amount is determined by the SAS, it is expected the co-contribution fee will be greater for higher-level training given the increased benefits that accrue to individuals and industry.

The co-contribution fee may be paid on behalf of the student by an employer or another third party, but cannot be paid or waived by the SAS, unless approved by the department.

What outcomes are expected?

Each SAS is measured on successful training completions, quality of training experience and whether the training resulted in an employment benefit such as securing a job, career advancement or transition to university for further education.

Individuals and employers will need access to a range of information to ensure they make an informed choice about a subsidised training place. To support this, a SAS must meet a number of performance standards if they wish to participate and maintain their SAS status for the program. Refer to the SAS policy and SAS Agreement for more information.

Program documents

Policy documents

1. Higher Level Skills program policy 2020–21 (PDF, 172KB) or (DOCX, 114KB) effective 1 July 2020 
2. Skills Assure supplier policy 2020–21 (v1.1, Aug 2020) (PDF, 327KB) or (DOCX, 154KB) effective 1 July 2020

Program fact sheets

3. Higher Level Skills – Registered training organisation (RTO) fact sheet (PDF, 138KB)
4. Higher Level Skills – Employer fact sheet (PDF, 138KB)
5. Higher Level Skills – Student fact sheet (PDF, 140KB)

SAS fact sheets

6. Skills Assure supplier marketing and disclosure directive (PDF, 155KB) or (DOCX, 107KB) effective 1 July 2020
7. Skills Assure supplier third party arrangements fact sheet (PDF, 165KB) or (DOCX, 97KB)
8. Student training and employment survey fact sheet (PDF, 149KB) or (DOCX, 106KB)
9. Student training and employment survey template (XLSX, 62KB)

Other SAS documents

10. VET investment programs Skills Assure supplier audit evidence requirements (v1.0, July 2020) (PDF, 1MB) – effective 1 July 2020
11. Adding skills sets to a SAS application or agreement fact sheet (PDF, 117KB) or (DOCX, 112KB)
12. Industry proposal - Funding submission for apprenticeships, traineeships and other qualifications (DOCX, 135KB)

Historical program documents

Access historical Higher Level Skills program documents from previous financial years.

Related information

Last updated 24 August 2020

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)