User Choice (Apprenticeship and Traineeship Funding)
The User Choice 2010-2016 program provides a public funding contribution towards the cost of training and assessment services for eligible Queensland apprentices and trainees.
The program aims to provide funding aligned to the skill needs of industry and respond to changing government priorities.
How does the program work?
The program provides the flexibility for apprentices, trainees and their employers to select a preferred registered training organisation (RTO) from a list of pre-qualified suppliers for the delivery of nationally recognised, accredited training to meet their specific needs. The program works in conjunction with the Commonwealth Australian Apprenticeships System, under which apprentices and trainees (also known in some jurisdictions as “Australian Apprentices”) enter into legally binding training contracts with their employers and receive structured training to achieve a nationally recognised qualification.
The following link to Apprenticeships Info gives access to a variety of Fact Sheets applicable to the apprentice and is a helpful site for information – http://apprenticeshipsinfo.qld.gov.au/information-resources/info-sheets
Fee-free training for Year 12 graduates
Year 12 fee-free training is available through two Queensland Government VET investment programs – the Certificate 3 Guarantee and User Choice.
Student Contribution Fees
Student Contribution Fees are an apprentice’s contribution to the cost of tuition. As an apprentice under the User Choice Queensland funding program, it is mandatory to pay Student Contribution Fees. Student Contribution Fees are currently set at $1.60 per nominal hour for each unit of competency (as set by the Department of Education, Training and Employment Queensland). These fees may change at the discretion of the Department.
Apprentices may be eligible for a partial or full exemption from these fees if they provide evidence they are in one of the exemption categories below:
Partial Exemption (apprentice must pay 40% of Student Contribution Fee)
- If you are or will be under 17 at the end of February in the year training is provided, and you are not at school and did not complete year 12;
- If you hold a health care card or pensioner card issued under Commonwealth law, or are the partner or dependent of a person who holds a health care card or pensioner concession card, and are named on the card;
- If you have an official form under Commonwealth law confirming that you, your partner or the person of whom you are a dependent, is entitled to concessions under a health care card or pensioner concession card; or
- If you are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person
- If you would be caused extreme financial hardship, you may be exempt from the fees;
- If you are a school-based apprentice;
- If you graduated Year 12 and you commence an apprenticeship within twelve months of completing Year 12 (by the end of the calendar year following completion of Year 12). Please note this applies to students who commenced their apprenticeship after 1 January 2014.
Student contribution fees apply for all units of competency (including any which are achieved by recognition of prior learning) unless you have previously achieved the unit of competency (either the same unit name and code, or deemed equivalent) and provide a Statement of Attainment as evidence.
Student contribution fees are payable prior to commencing training in the unit of competency. You may apply for exemption at any time for fees that have not yet been charged.
Refunds of Student Contribution Fees for User Choice Funded Apprenticeships
- A full refund will be paid to apprentices for Student Contribution Fees charged for training delivery that has not commenced at the time of the cancellation of enrolment
- Where an apprentice has withdrawn from a Unit of Competency and training has commenced, a refund will not apply