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By the SAS Group team

The Federal Government is seeking feedback on the recently released discussion paper on the new $476 million Industry Skills Fund.

The discussion paper outlines various aspects of The Fund including priority areas, eligibility, relevant activities, merit criteria and funding arrangements, and is designed to provide stakeholders with the opportunity to submit feedback on the proposed design and implementation arrangements.

Hon. Ian Macfarlane MP, Minister for Industry described The Fund as, “a centrepiece of the Australian Government’s new support infrastructure for business,” and stated it was a “key element of the Australian Government’s National Industry Investment and Competitiveness Agenda".

The Fund will provide up to 200,000 training places and support services over four years for Australian businesses that are seeking to improve their productivity and competitiveness in the global market.

Mr Macfarlane said The Fund, “will involve a co-contribution system in which business and Government co-invest in the skills that employers in priority sectors of the economy need to diversify into new markets, adopt new technologies, enter export markets or respond to Australian market opportunities".

Funding will be provided to solvent Australian enterprises that are non-tax exempt and incorporated under the Corporations Act 2001, have an Australian Business Number, are registered for GST and have a demonstrated trading history.

Training deliverers will not be eligible to apply for funding to deliver training or support services either to their own workforce or another eligible entity.

Click here for the Government's full discussion paper.

Submissions in response to the discussion paper and consultation questions will close on the 7th September 2014. The Fund will commence on the 1 January 2015 and will be delivered through the new Single Business Service initiative – AusIndustry.

If you would like a more detailed brief on the Industry Skills Fund please contact the SAS Group on 07 3221 9222.

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