Government Funded Courses

The Queensland Government Certificate 3 Guarantee Program

The Certificate 3 Guarantee supports eligible individuals to complete their first post-school certificate III level qualification and increase their skills to move into employment, re-enter the workforce or advance their career.

The program also supports school students to access training and Queensland's Year 12 graduates to transition to employment by providing free training in high priority qualifications.

What qualifications are subsidised?

Under the Certificate 3 Guarantee, the Queensland Government provides a subsidy for a range of certificate III level vocational qualifications.

Foundation skills training and lower-level vocational qualifications may also be subsidised in certain circumstances.

Am I eligible?

You must:

  • be a Queensland resident
  • be aged 15 years or over, and no longer at school (with the exception of VET in Schools students)
  • be an Australian or New Zealand citizen or Australian permanent resident (including humanitarian entrants), or a temporary resident with the necessary visa and work permits on the pathway to permanent residency
  • not hold, or be enrolled in, a certificate III level or higher qualification (not including qualifications completed at school and foundation skills training).
  • Additional opportunities may be available in exceptional circumstances where an individual does not meet the eligibility criteria for the program but circumstances indicate the objectives of the program will be met through a confirmed employment benefit. Additional opportunities will be considered on a case-by-case basis, upon request by a prospective student.

To learn more, prospective students can contact the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training on 1300 369 935.

How can I participate?

It is important that you choose the right course for you to take full advantage of the program.

The Queensland Skills Gateway displays the courses available under the Certificate 3 Guarantee and provides information about what they cover, the careers they can lead to, and the training providers approved to deliver them.

As a condition of your enrolment, you will be required to complete a student training and employment survey within 3 months of finishing or discontinuing your training.

What level of subsidy is available?

The subsidy represents the level of government contribution for a qualification, and varies between qualifications based on a number of factors.

The investment priority or importance of the training influences the size of the government subsidy. Training in vocational areas that align with important economic and industry skills needs will receive a higher government subsidy.

A higher subsidy will also be paid to support participation by disadvantaged learners (concessional students). More information on concessional student status is detailed in the Certificate 3 Guarantee program policy.

Do I need to contribute to the cost of training?

Given the benefits that training provides to individuals, students undertaking certificate III level training and non-concessional students undertaking lower-level vocational training are required to contribute to the costs of their training through a co-contribution fee.

The amount of your out-of-pocket expense will vary depending on the course you undertake and the training provider you choose.

The fee may be paid on your behalf by an employer or another third party, but cannot be paid or waived by the training provider, or any organisation related to the training provider, unless approved by the department.

For more information visit:


Traineeships combine work with study, so you earn while you learn.

As a trainee, you'll learn practical skills at work, academic skills through a training organisation and at the end, graduate with a trade qualification or vocational certificate.

Types traineeships

Traineeships can be:

  • full-time
  • part-time
  • school-based
  • or
  • a combination of multiple apprenticeships and traineeships.

Trainees can be:

  • school students
  • school-leavers
  • young adults
  • mature age people
  • existing workers who want to change or transition from general employee to tradesperson.

Read more about different types of apprenticeships and traineeships.



There are general eligibility criteria and requirements related to:

  • minimum age
  • working for a Queensland-based employer
  • citizenship and working visas
  • working hours.

Read more about eligibility and requirements.

School-based apprenticeships and traineeships have extra requirements to do with school support, parental consent and timetables.


The time it takes to complete an apprenticeship or traineeship varies, depending on:

  • the allocated length of your apprenticeship or traineeship (called the 'nominal term')
  • whether you are full-time, part-time or school-based (part-time and school-based training may take twice as long as full-time)
  • whether you can get time credit or recognition for previous training
  • how quickly you complete your training (apprenticeships and traineeships are 'competency-based training' in which skills and performance matter more than time served).

School-based traineeships can be completed before graduation depending on your start date and length, but school-based apprenticeships can't be completed during high school, because they take longer.

Comparison of approximate completion times

  Full-time Part-time School-based
Traineeship 1–2 years 2–4 years 2 years
Apprenticeship 3–4 years 8 years 5 years
(2 years at school
plus 3 years full-time after school)

How many hours you work

The hours you work vary, depending on whether you are full-time, part-time or school-based.

Comparison of working hours

Full-time Part-time Casual School-based
38+ hours/week 15+ hours/week Not allowed 7.5+ hours/week

Learn more about required working hours.


Getting paid

As a trainee, you get paid for:

  • the hours you work and train on the job
  • the hours you attend training delivered by your training organisation.

School-based apprentices and trainees, however, are not always paid for the time spent training with the training organisation; it depends on their industrial award or agreement.

Learn more about wages and entitlements.

How training works

Ignite Education will work with you and your employer to develop a training plan, which describes what, when and how you do your training.

They also deliver all your formal training and assessment.

Your training may be:

  • online
  • at work, with an on-site trainer
  • in a classroom
  • a combination of the above.

Who else is involved

Your traineeship is a partnership between:

  • you, the trainee
  • your employer
  • your training organisation (Ignite Education)
  • and
  • your Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider, who signs you up.

If you are a school student, your school, parent or guardian will also be involved.

Read more about the roles and responsibilities of those involved.


VET in Schools (VETiS)

What is VETiS?

Vocational Education and Training in Schools (VETiS) is a program enabling students to gain nationally recognised qualifications while at school. Students learn skills and knowledge required for specific industries.

VETiS can be undertaken in years 10, 11 and 12, and can count towards the Queensland Certificate of Education.

Can students undertake any VETiS qualification?

Students undertaking VETiS, which is funded and delivered by a school RTO or self-funded, can undertake any qualification across a range of industries. 

Students undertaking VETiS, which is funded by the VET investment budget, can choose from a range of certificate I and II level qualifications, referred to as employment stream qualifications. 

These qualifications have been identified through industry as consultation as leading to employment outcomes and are based on skills shortages and Queensland Government priorities. You can find the subsidised VETiS qualifications can be found on the Priority Skills List.

Students undertaking VETiS can complete one employment stream qualification at the certificates I or II level. VETiS is fee-free for students if they have not used this funding previously.

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