Regional Skills Fund

Regional Skills Fund support regional industry and business skills and capability to ensure the long-term sustainability of employment and business growth.

Regional Skills Fund

Regional Skills Fund

The Regional Skills Fund is a targeted, place-based regional skills grants program driven by industry in partnership with the tertiary sector, working to build local capacity, resilience and support jobs creation.



The Regional Skills Fund stream aims to support regional industry and business skills and capability to ensure the long-term sustainability of employment and business growth.


Project Categories

The Regional Skills Fund will support regional projects that improve business productivity; increase workforce skills and capability, incentives workforce and training participation and that improve and create new career pathways.

It can support activities under four broad categories:

  • Industry Growth – assisting regional businesses and firms to grow their workforce, innovate and expand into new markets and upskill to integrate new technologies, business models and processes;
  • Workforce Development – improving regional workforce and sector capabilities, implementation of planning, supporting re-skilling and jobs retention, skills attraction, and building local resilience;
  • Career Pathways – industry-led skills training, career progression planning, integrated workplace learning; leadership and mentoring programs, school-industry partnerships and cadetships;
  • Aspiration and attainment – co-ordinated strategies and initiatives with other agencies and programs to improve regional post-school transition and pathways for employment and further education and training.

These categories should be viewed as examples only. New and innovative partnerships and approaches in skills and workforce development that make a significant impact in rural and regional Victoria will be highly regarded.



The following information should be read in conjunction with the Regional Jobs Fund (RJF) guidelines.

Funding will be provided on a co-contribution basis, with applicants typically contributing at least onethird of the total project cost (ie. a 2:1 funding ratio).

Not-for-profit organisations may be eligible to receive up to 75 per cent of the total project cost (ie. a 3:1 funding ratio).

Where a project involves training costs which are outside of those eligible for Victorian Training Guarantee or subsidies such as unit competencies or targeted upskilling, these costs must be covered by the applicant’s contribution. However, the grant can be used towards other components of the project such as brokering, coordination, facilitation and research, accommodation and travel.

In-kind contributions can be included as part of the total project costs in calculating the level of grant assistance.

In-kind contributions will be considered subject to the following requirements:

  • no more than 50 per cent of applicant (and partners) contribution can be in-kind
  • skilled labour costed at $45 per hour
  • unskilled labour costed at $20 per hour
  • equipment costed at standard commercial hire rate
  • facilities costed at standard rental rate.


Eligible Projects

The Regional Skills Fund will give priority to projects that:

  • are endorsed by relevant Regional Partnerships, aligning with their local priorities for skills and workforce development, that may be expressed in regional or sector workforce plans.
  • create and strengthen long-term, collaborative and innovative partnerships between regional industry, businesses and the tertiary sector including TAFEs, Learn Locals, LLENs and universities.
  • build on and strengthen regional workforce planning and support their implementation.
  • support regional skills clusters to drive local innovation and research centres that identify future workforce needs and strengthen regional skills capability and workforce resilience.
  • enable upskilling in new technology and production models; career mobility and new pathways; skills for new business ventures; export and e-commerce to access new markets and the digital economy; and strategies to diversify the local skills base.
  • support disadvantaged groups as part of a long-term, strategic approach with industry on meaningful career-based employment.

The fund has been designed to align with and complement the Victorian Government’s education and training reforms as well as initiatives that seek to support innovation, skills and workforce development, including the Jobs Victoria Employment Network program and the Future Industries Sector Strategies.



Applications open on an ongoing basis.


Media Release

The Andrews Labor Government is backing a new project that will address local industry and employment needs in Ararat, Stawell and the surrounding region.

Treasurer Tim Pallas visited AME Systems in Ararat today to announce $228,000 from the Regional Skills Fund to establish an Industry Skills Coordinator, which will link job seekers to industry, and help connect them to necessary education and training.

The project will also identify priorities for workforce development in and around Ararat and Stawell, and help find training solutions to local issues, align training provision to industry needs, assist industry to navigate the training system, and grow the educational aspirations of community members.

The project is championed by the Central Highlands Regional Partnership in response to priority issues raised by local communities.

It has been developed by a steering group comprised of a wide cross section of community and industry group leaders that will continue to guide the project.

The steering group includes representatives from Central Grampians Local Learning Employment Network, Stawell Neighbourhood House, Grampians Community Health, East Grampians Health Service, Ararat Regional Business Association, StawellBiz and two local major manufacturers – AME Systems and Gason.

The Regional Skills Fund is a place-based program driven by industry, in partnership with the tertiary sector, to build local capacity and create job pathways.


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