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Edition 585, 22 December 2014

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Synopsis of the Budget

Monday, December 22 2014

Below is a précis of savings and expenditure measures relevant to the Education, Employment and Training world announced yesterday in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook. 

In brief, the Support for Adult Apprentices payment has been wound up, with loans being offered through the Trade Support Loans scheme as a replacement measure, the new Australian Apprenticeships Support Services will have reduced funding, down $30million over 4 year as a result of “streamlining” activities, Trade Cadetships are losing pretty much all of their funding and TEQSA and HEP are being merged.  More details are below:

Industry Portfolio

  • Support for Adult Australian Apprenticeships — payments to apprentices — cessation

The Government will achieve savings of $66.1 million over three years from 2015 16 by ceasing payments to apprentices under Support for Adult Australian Apprenticeships (SAAA) from 1 July 2015. The SAAA is a component of the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Programme and provides a wage subsidy payable directly to apprentices earning below the National Minimum Wage or to their employers if the wage is above the National Minimum Wage. The Government will continue to provide SAAA payments to employers.

Financial support to assist apprentices with the costs of undertaking an apprenticeship will be provided under the Trade Support Loans Programme announced in the 2014 15 Budget.

  • Australian Apprenticeships Support Services

The Government will provide $602.0 million over four years, $30.3 million less than previously announced.  These savings will be achieved over four years by streamlining activities under the new contracts

  • ASQA – reduced revenue

The Government has revised earnings by ASQA down by $55 million.

  • Skills for Education and Employment — reduction

The Government will achieve savings of $43.8 million over four years from 2014 15 by reducing the number of training places under the Skills for Education and Employment programme by 3,000 places in 2014 15, 2,700 in 2015 16, 2,010 in 2016 17 and 1,000 in 2017 18. The programme will continue to support over 110,000 places over the four years.

Education Portfolio

  • Higher Education Reform

The revisions announced by Minister Pyne to the Higher Education Reforms have been included, they result in revised net savings of $642.4 million over four years from 2014 15 by:

  • reinstating the Consumer Price Index as the annual indexation applied to Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) debts;
  • pausing indexation on HELP debts for people who earn below the minimum HELP repayment threshold and have primary care of a child under five years of age;
  • amending the Commonwealth Grant Scheme subsidies for non university higher education providers and for sub bachelor courses delivered by universities;
  • funding an information campaign to better inform students and all Australians about the current higher education system, the funding available to students and to provide prospective students with information to help guide their decision making; and
  • establishing a scholarship fund within the Higher Education Participation Programme (HEPP) with a focus on allocating funding to universities with high proportions of students from low socio economic status backgrounds.


  • School Chaplaincy Programme

Savings of $240m over 4 years with savings achieved through efficiencies as a result of revised implementation arrangements.

  • National Trade Cadetships

The Government will achieve savings of $43.7 million over four years from 2014 15 by returning uncommitted funding for the National Trade Cadetships programme to the Budget. Funding of $2.8 million over two years will remain to meet existing commitments.

  • TEQSA – HEP Merger

The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Advisory Council with the Higher Education Standards Panel will be merged.

Employment Portfolio

  • Strengthening the Job Seeker Compliance Framework

The Government will achieve savings of $86.9 million over four years from 2014 15 by strengthening the job seeker compliance framework and making the financial consequences of non compliance more immediate.

This measure will be implemented in two stages:

  • From 1 January 2015, job seekers who fail to attend an appointment with their employment service provider without giving prior notice of a valid reason will have their payment suspended, from when they receive notice of failure to attend, and reinstated (with back pay) only when they attend a rescheduled appointment.
  • From 1 July 2015, job seekers who fail to attend an appointment with their employment service provider will have their payment suspended, as soon as they are notified of their non attendance, and will not receive back pay for the period between their failure to attend and their attendance at a rescheduled appointment.


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