Why should I consider the User Choice Program?
The three key considerations of the User Choice 2010–2016 program are the government’s funding priorities, the funding contribution towards qualifications and the funding strategy used to obtain training and assessment services.
Prioritisation of Funding
The User Choice program funds nationally recognised, accredited training and assessment services for apprentices and trainees.
Under the User Choice 2010–2016 program, funding will specifically target the occupational outcomes of the apprenticeship or traineeship, and align with the skill outcomes required by industry.
The User Choice funding priorities are determined from national and state data in conjunction with industry input, and are reviewed annually.
The funding priority will determine the level of public funds contributed to training, regardless of whether the qualification is an apprenticeship or traineeship.
The funding priorities under the User Choice 2010–2016 program are:
Priority One (100 per cent subsidised)
Priority One qualifications are those which lead to occupations deemed to be critical priorities in Queensland.
Priority Two (75 per cent subsidised)
Priority Two qualifications are those which lead to occupations not deemed critical in Queensland but considered as high priorities.
Priority Three (50 per cent subsidised)
Priority Three qualifications are those which lead to occupations not deemed critical in Queensland but considered as medium priorities.
Unfunded qualifications are those which lead to occupations not deemed critical and are not a funding priority. These include qualifications which are not entry-level qualifications identified by industry.
Priority population groups
Individuals identified as belonging to a priority population group (PPG) undertaking a Priority Two or Priority Three qualification will receive 100 per cent of the government contribution.
PPGs are those declared on the national Apprenticeship/Traineeship Training Contract, such as individuals of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin, individuals from a non-English speaking background and individuals with disability, impairment or long-term condition.
School-based apprentices and trainees
School-based apprentices and trainees receive funding aligned to the priority level of the qualification.
Existing workers, irrespective of whether they belong to a PPG, are eligible for funding only when undertaking Priority One qualifications.
Language, literacy and numeracy support
Limited funding is available from the department for language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) support for eligible apprentices and trainees. Funding will be provided under a separate agreement to approved RTOs.
LLN support for school-based apprentices and trainees will not be funded. LLN support will be provided by the relevant secondary schooling sector. Accordingly, in the case of a school-based apprentice or trainee, contact should be made with the relevant secondary school.
The User Choice government contribution represents the level of public funding the government will contribute towards the total cost of training for apprentices and trainees.
Other contributions by industry, employers, apprentices and trainees may be required. Contributions made by apprentices and trainees are governed by section 2.6.1 of this policy.
Information regarding qualifications and government contributions under the User Choice 2010–2016 program is published on the department’s training website at www.training.qld.gov.au/training-organisations/funded-programs/user-choice/funded-pricing/index.
User Choice 2010–2016 qualifications and government contributions are available via the Queensland Training Information Service (QTIS).
Information regarding restricted qualifications and their special pricing arrangements under the User Choice 2010–2016 program is published on the department’s training website at www.training.qld.gov.au/training-organisations/funded-programs/user-choice/funded-pricing/index.
Training delivered in country, remote, Cape York and Torres Strait regions of the state will attract a location loading in addition to the government contribution. A full list of locations and the relevant loadings is published on the department’s training website at www.training.qld.gov.au/training-organisations/funded-programs/user-choice/funded-pricing/index.
Enterprise-specific registered training organisations (ESRTOs) and national registered training organisations (NRTOs)
Under the User Choice 2006–2010 program, organisations referred to as ESRTOs and NRTOs received a different level of funding than other RTOs. All training organisations now have the same classification. The department has removed ESRTO and NRTO status under the User Choice 2010–2016 program. A PQS who used to be referred to as an ESRTO cannot refuse to become the SRTO for an apprentice or trainee who is not in their employ, except where specified under Clause 2.7 of this policy.
To deliver publicly-funded training and assessment services to apprentices and trainees, RTOs must apply for, and be approved by the department as, pre-qualified suppliers.
RTOs seeking PQS status can apply online through the department’s training website at www. training.qld.gov.au/training-organisations/funded-programs/user-choice/become-user-choice-pqs/index.
Successful PQS applicants will be advised of their authority to commence delivery against approved qualifications under a VET Pre-qualified Supplier Agreement.