NSW Smart and Skilled Traineeships

Find Out about your Funding Eligibility!

What is Smart & Skilled?

Smart and Skilled is a reform of the NSW Vocational Education and Training (VET) system. It's helping people in NSW get the skills they need to find a job and advance their careers. 

Smart and Skilled provides eligible students with:

  • an entitlement to government-subsidised training up to and including Certificate III
  • government funding for higher-level courses (Certificate IV and above) in targeted priority areas.

Who is eligible for Traineeships under Smart and Skilled?

If you are:

  • 15 years old or over, and
  • living or working in NSW (or an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person living in specific NSW border areas), and 
  • an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, Australian humanitarian visa holder or New Zealand citizen


  • a NSW apprentice or trainee transferring your traineeship

you may be eligible to enrol in a government-subsidised course with National College Australia.

What does a Smart and Skilled Traineeship provide for eligible students?

National College Australia's Smart and Skilled Traineeships provide eligible students with:

  • an entitlement to government-subsidised training up to and including Certificate III
  • government funding for higher-level courses (Certificate IV and above) in targeted priority areas
  • the potential for growth in their existing job roles in industry
  • the flexibility of being able to study online, self-paced qualifications whilst working in the industry

Are courses provided by NCA Smart and Skilled approved?


National College Australia (NCA) are an approved Smart and Skilled RTO (Registered Training Organisation), and all of our courses are Approved Qualifications. The training is subsidised by the NSW Government. 

Please note, to enrol into our Traineeship courses, you need to be 15 years and over. Individuals who are still in school may also be eligible for School-Based Traineeships (SBATs).

If I live in other states than NSW, am I eligible for Traineeship funding?

Presently, NCA are approved for Smart and Skilled Traineeships for residents of New South Wales (NSW) only.

As an alternative to funding for non-NSW residents, we offer Fee-for-Services Traineeship opportunities in other states. These are Traineeships in which the employer and employee have a pre-arranged agreement regarding payment of the course fees, and we provide the training component.

Fee Free Training – NSW Smart & Skilled Traineeships

Under the NSW Government's Fee-Free Traineeship Initiative, NSW Trainees who are funded under Smart and Skilled, and commence subsidised training on or after 1 January 2020, are eligible for free training!

What is a Traineeship?

Traineeships and apprenticeships combine work-based training with an employer and formal training from a training provider. They are established under training contracts between the employer and the apprentice or trainee and are regulated by government. They're a great way to be paid for work, learn and earn a qualification.

All NSW apprentices and most new-entrant trainees are eligible for a government subsidy under Smart and Skilled for the qualification that supports their Traineeship.

Do I qualify as a new entrant trainee under Smart and Skilled?

A person is eligible to be approved as a new entrant trainee if they have been employed by their traineeship employer:

  • for less than 3 months as a full-time, full-time equivalent part-time/casual, or a combination of these prior to the commencement of the traineeship;
  • for less than 12 months as a part-time or part-time equivalent casual employee prior to the commencement of the traineeship;
  • for less than 12 months in a combination of part-time, casual and full-time (or equivalent) employment prior to the commencement of the traineeship.

  • NB 1: Periods of part-time or casual employment where the learner is working 30 or more hours a week should be considered full-time "equivalent" for the purpose of these calculations.
  • NB 2: When determining compliance under dot point 3, periods of full-time or full-time equivalent part-time/casual employment should be converted to part-time using a ratio of 1:4. For example, 1 week of full-time employment (or equivalent) equates to 4 weeks part-time OR 2 months of full-time employment (or equivalent) equates to 8 months part-time.
  • NB 3: A person who commences a School-Based Traineeship is deemed a new entrant trainee, regardless of how long they were employed by the same employer prior to commencing the traineeship.

(Source: NSW Smart and Skilled)

What if I don't meet the New Entrant criteria?

If you do not meet the full funding eligibility criteria under Smart and Skilled, there is still great news!

  • You or the employer may be required to pay a fee of $1000. (Please check eligibility requirements).
  • The payment of this fee is agreed upon by the student and their employer prior to enrolment.
  • Our Course Advisors can assess your eligibility for partially funded Traineeships and inform you of the next steps to take.

How to Register for a Funded Traineeship? 

  1. Complete the Smart and Skilled Traineeship form below. 
  2. Download a Course Guide relating to the qualification you wish to study, and the industry you are working or intending to commence working in.
  3. If you are an existing worker, we will need to liaise with your employer and an Apprenticeship Network Provider to confirm your intent to enrol.
  4. A course advisor will contact you to organise an enrolment interview
  5. Upon confirming your eligibility, you can commence your Traineeship!

Enquire about our NSW Smart and Skilled Traineeships

If you are a employer or an individual looking for a traineeship, please send us a message or fill out our online form below to find out if you are eligible for Smart and Skilled NSW Government Training Funding for Traineeships:

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