What is the Work Start Incentives?
The Work Start Incentives is a program that provides Queensland employers with an incentive payment if they employ an eligible trainee or apprentice.
Work Start incentives is one of seven programs that make up the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative.
The aim of the program is to encourage the engagement of additional trainees and apprentices and provide unemployed persons with the necessary skills and workplace opportunities to ensure sustainable employment and long-term career opportunities.
Work Start provides a one-off incentive payment to private sector employers who employ a participant from a Skilling Queenslanders for Work program in a traineeship or apprenticeship. In 2020-21, up to $4 million will be available for eligible private sector employers across Queensland.
Work Start incentives is administered by the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training (DESBT).
Eligible private sector employers, including group training organisations and non-government organisations, who sign up an eligible person as a trainee or apprentice from 1 July 2020 will be able to apply for a one-off incentive payment of $10,000. GST does not apply to the Work Start incentive.
A Youth Boost component of $20,000 is available for eligible young people aged 15 to 24 years and commencing a traineeship or apprenticeship between 1 July 2019 until 30 June 2020. Youth Boost is not available in 2020-21 for any new trainees or apprentices employed on or after 1 July 2020.
The Work Start incentive of $10,000 is paid after the eligible trainee or apprentice completes:
- three months (defined as 91 days) of employment (full time); or
- six months (defined as 182 days) of employment (part time).
The Youth Boost represents a second payment of $10,000 that is paid after the eligible trainee or apprentice completes 12 months of employment (full time or part time) and is still employed at the time of claiming a payment.
The Youth Boost attracts a maximum level of funding of $20,000.
Payments may take up to ten working days to process after required documentation is received by DESBT. Payments are also subject to availability of funds.
People who have undertaken a Skilling Queenslanders for Work program will attract a Work Start incentive for their private sector employer. An eligible person is someone who meets all of the following criteria:
- has participated for a minimum two months on Community Work Skills, Work Skills Traineeships, Get Set for Work, Youth Skills; or Ready for Work (Shorter participation times may be considered on a case-by-case basis upon application)
- is registered in a Queensland declared traineeship or apprenticeship
- has commenced the traineeship or apprenticeship from 1 July 2020
- has commenced the traineeship or apprenticeship after exiting the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program i.e. is not an existing trainee or apprentice
- has commenced the traineeship or apprenticeship no more than six months after their exit date from a Skilling Queenslanders for Work program
- has not displaced an existing worker
- has not previously worked for the employer
- has completed three or six months of employment in the traineeship or apprenticeship, and is still employed at the time of claiming a payment.
In addition to the above eligibility criteria, to attract a Youth Boost an eligible person must meet the below:
- is a former Skilling Queenslanders for Work participant
- is aged between 15 to 24 years at the time of commencement of the traineeship or apprenticeship
- commenced the traineeship or apprenticeship between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020
- has completed 12 months of employment in the traineeship or apprenticeship
- is still employed at the time of claiming a payment.
For traineeships completed in less than 12 months, the individual must continue to be employed for the full 12 month period with the private sector employer to be eligible.
Work Start incentive payments are not eligible for casual employment.
Former Skilling Queenslanders for Work participants are ineligible for a Work Start incentive if they:
- have completed a First Start Traineeship
- are undertaking a school-based traineeship or apprenticeship.
An eligible person can only attract one Work Start incentive. If the eligible person leaves or cancels their traineeship or apprenticeship after a Work Start incentive has been paid, and then re-commences another traineeship or apprenticeship with a second employer, the second employer is not eligible for a Work Start incentive.
Applications open on an ongoing basis.