The User Choice program provides public funding paid directly to pre-qualified suppliers (PQS) for the delivery of accredited entry-level training to apprentices and trainees.
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 User Choice 2016–17 program provides a public funding contribution towards the cost of training and assessment for eligible Queensland apprentices and trainees. Student contribution fees under the User Choice program in 2017 are set at $1.60 per nominal hour for each unit of competency/module and are calculated at the commencement of the unit of competency/module. The student contribution fee may be paid on behalf of the student by their employer or another third party, but cannot be paid or waived by the RTO.
The program will provide greater flexibility for apprentices, trainees and their employers to select a training supplier of their choice and to negotiate the type of training they require.
Based on the outcomes of an independent review and ongoing feedback from stakeholders, the User Choice 2016–17 framework and model has been developed to address the most significant challenges of the government’s funding priorities, the contribution towards qualifications and the funding strategy for training and assessment services.
The Queensland User Choice 2016–17 program will provide funding aligned to the skill needs of industry and respond to changing government priorities in a timely manner.
A number of key principles underpin the program, including the need to ensure that the program is transparent, flexible, responsive, consistently applied and easily understood.
User Choice related policies and documents can be found below: