The Higher Level Skills program provides a government subsidy to support eligible individuals to access subsidised training in selected certificate IV 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 qualifications, and priority skill sets critical to productivity within the workplace.

To view the subsidised qualifications and skill sets, visit 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.

How can RTOs participate?

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

What level of subsidy is available?

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 those undertaking training in identified country and remote locations.

The full list of subsidy levels for qualifications and skills sets available under the Higher Level Skills program are 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 amount of the fee is determined by the PQS, 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 fee may be paid on behalf of the individual by an employer or another third party unrelated to the PQS, but cannot be paid or waived by the PQS, unless approved by the department.

What outcomes are expected?

PQS will be measured on successful training completions and whether the training resulted in an employment benefit such as securing a job or 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, PQS must meet a number of performance standards if they wish to participate and maintain their PQS status for the program. Refer to the PQS Policy and PQS Agreement for more information.

Program documents

Policy documents

1. Higher Level Skills Program Policy 2019–20 (PDF, 201KB) or (DOCX, 115KB) effective 1 July 2019 
2. Pre-qualified Supplier Policy 2019–20 (PDF, 356KB) or (DOCX, 138KB) effective 1 July 2019

Program fact sheets

3. Higher Level Skills RTO fact sheet (PDF, 158KB) or (DOCX, 98KB)
4. Higher Level Skills employer fact sheet (PDF, 157KB) or (DOCX, 98KB)
5. Higher Level Skills student fact sheet (PDF, 68KB) or (DOCX, 97KB)

PQS fact sheets

6. Pre-qualified supplier marketing and disclosure directives fact sheet (PDF, 226KB) or (DOCX, 96KB) effective 1 July 2019
7. Pre-qualified supplier subcontracting arrangements fact sheet (PDF, 178KB) or (DOCX, 95KB)
8. Student training and employment survey fact sheet (PDF, 192KB) or (DOCX, 97KB)
9. Student training and employment survey response template (XLSX, 61KB)

Other PQS documents

10. VET Investment Programs Pre-qualified supplier audit evidence requirements (v6.1, Jan 2020) (PDF, 560KB) – effective 1 January 2020
11. Adding skills sets to a PQS application or agreement fact sheet (PDF, 194 KB) or (DOCX, 420KB)
12. Industry proposal - Funding submission for apprenticeships, traineeships and other qualifications (DOCX, 135KB)

Historical program documents

Access historical Higher Level Skills program documents.

Related information

Last updated 17 February 2020

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