Providers: Promote apprenticeship wage subsidies appropriately
ASQA’s research shows that some training providers may not be properly marketing the Boosting Apprenticeships Commencements (BAC) wage subsidy to employers. The BAC subsidy aims to support employers to engage new apprentices and trainees to in turn support Australia’s economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19.
We provide the following advice to providers promoting BAC incentives, as part of our commitment to achieving quality VET and confidence in outcomes for students, industry and the wider community.
Advice to providers
Our research shows that some providers may be inappropriately promoting the BAC wage subsidy and offering to support subsidised apprenticeship training arrangements.
We recommend reviewing promotional material with two lenses:
- Review marketing directed at employers to ensure your messaging about the subsidy is in line with the guidance from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE). Information on Australian Apprentice Incentives can also be obtained from an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider.
Review marketing directed at students to ensure you are meeting the Standards for RTOs, which require that marketing practices be accurate and factual to allow prospective students to make informed decisions. More information about how to do this is available in our marketing and advertising fact sheet.
The Standards for RTOs require providers to provide appropriate support services that meet students’ individual needs and enable progression.
We recommend reviewing the support you are providing to BAC students to ensure it is appropriate for each student. More information about support and progression is available in our Users’ guide to the Standards for RTOs 2015.
The Standards for RTOs require that training is delivered by qualified trainers using training and assessment strategies that are consistent with Training Package requirements. ASQA has found that the highest rate of non-compliance with the Standards relates to training and assessment.
We recommend reviewing the training and assessment you are delivering to apprentices to ensure it aligns with the relevant Training Packages. More information about training and assessment is available in our Users’ guide to the Standards for RTOs 2015.
ASQA is monitoring areas of increased funding
Our experience suggests that the availability of new and increased funding can present a risk to the delivery of quality training, typically because of an increase in demand for training, and providers’ response to meet that demand. As such, we work with our key stakeholders, including DESE, to actively monitor risks associated with training and assessment delivered under government funding incentives such as BAC.
To ensure that registrations and payments for employer incentives meet the eligibility criteria, DESE’s monitoring activities include following up on referrals or tip-offs, phone surveys of apprentices, and targeted or random compliance audits.
BAC is a particular focus for ASQA in the 2021-22 financial year with the increase in incentives to boost economic recovery due to COVID-19 and we will continue to engage with key stakeholders, including DESE, to monitor risks that may emerge.