Australian businesses can now apply for support to boost the skills of their workforce under the government’s new $476 million Industry Skills Fund.

The Industry Skills Fund is a key element in the Australian Government’s Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda. The fund will provide up to 200,000 training places and support services over four years.

The fund works as a partnership—businesses that are awarded funding must financially co-contribute to the proposed project. The co-contribution rate depends on the number of employees, with smaller businesses receiving higher levels of support.

The fund’s focus will be on small-to-medium enterprises, including micro-businesses, taking up growth opportunities. Large businesses are also eligible if criteria are met, but will be required to make a higher contribution to the costs of training.

The fund will prioritise businesses in the industries listed below, but other businesses may still be eligible to apply:

  • food and agribusiness
  • mining equipment, technology and services
  •  medical technologies and pharmaceuticals
  • oil, gas and energy resources
  • advanced manufacturing
  • enabling technology and service industries that support one or more of the priority areas listed above.

Applications for funding will be assessed against the Industry Skills Fund – Growth Stream merit criteria.

Types of assistance

Help is available in the following categories:

  • Skills advice – Help with identifying skills opportunities and maximising training outcomes.

    Advisers will provide tailored advice about your business skills needs and potential training solutions.

  • Training grant – Co-investment for businesses to improve the skills of their workforce for an identified growth opportunity.

For more information about the fund, including details on how to apply, see Industry Skills Fund at or call 13 28 46.