The User Choice program provides a public funding contribution towards the cost of training and assessment for eligible Queensland apprentices and trainees.

The program provides the flexibility for apprentices, trainees and their employers to select a preferred training provider (registered training organisation or RTO) from a list of Skills Assure suppliers (SAS) for the delivery of accredited training to meet their specific needs. SAS are training providers who have contract with the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training to deliver funded training.

How do I participate?

Choose a qualification that interests you and become an apprentice or trainee.

Visit the Queensland Skills Gateway to choose a qualification, learn about the training available, and the training providers that can assist you.

Which apprenticeships and traineeships are funded under User Choice?

Not all apprenticeships and traineeships attract government funding. 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 User Choice funding and pricing page for more information.

Can I start an apprenticeship or traineeship if I am still at school?

Yes you can. School-based apprenticeships and traineeships (SATs) are available in many occupations in Queensland. A SAT is undertaken as part of the high school studies, combining school, employment and training.

SATs receive funding for their training aligned to the priority level of the qualification and are exempt from paying student fees under the User Choice program while they are still at school.

Parties to the training contract for a SAT should be aware that there are a number of conditions that apply to a school-based training contract. View more information on school-based apprenticeships and traineeships to ensure it is the right training pathway for you.

Am I eligible for a funded place in the User Choice program?

To be eligible for a government contribution towards the costs of training, an apprentice or trainee must have entered into a training contract for a qualification that is funded by the department and be registered in the department's registration system DELTA. The contract commencement date or recommencement date must be on or after 1 July 2010, and the training provider selected to deliver the training must hold a SAS status for the nominated qualification.

The government contribution for a User Choice funding contribution is detailed in the apprentice or trainee's letter of registration from the department, and is subject to student eligibility and their selection of an eligible SAS to deliver their training.

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 is not 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.

There are 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. Australian Apprenticeship Support Network providers are another good source of information.

Will I be expected to pay fees and charges to my training provider?

Usually students are required to pay a co-contribution fee.

In some cases though, a training organisation may provide either a partial or full exemption for a student in respect to the co-contribution fee. SATs are not required to pay a co-contribution fee while they are still at school, but may be required to pay fees once their training contract has been converted to full-time or part-time post school.

Prior to enrolment, your training provider should provide details on all fees and charges, including full costs, method of collection, refunds and exemptions.

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Last updated 25 June 2020

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