Why invest in skills?

All businesses are reliant on a skilled and motivated workforce to help them succeed and grow. More companies than ever before are using vocational education and training (VET) to develop the skilled and dynamic workforce they need to ensure their sustainability into the future.

VET isn’t just about taking on new employees, apprentices or trainees. It can also be used to develop the skills of your existing employees.

VET represents a significant investment in the future of your business and can help you ensure you get the skilled workforce your company needs, when you need it.

VET is the best way of developing the workforce you need to meet the demands of the future.

  • Your business gets to train its future staff before they are permanently employed.
  • Apprentices can be trained in a way that suits your business culture and skills needs.
  • Employing staff who already know your business will dramatically increase their short-term productivity.
  • VET allows your business to groom its next generation of employees.
  • Given the current skills shortage, businesses have to train their own anyway - so why not get in now and 'grow your own'.

How to access training

Australia has over 4,900 registered training organisations (RTOs) providing nationally recognised training and qualifications. They include TAFE institutes, universities, private and public training and assessment organisations, enterprises, schools and adult education providers. Training providers have to meet national standards to become RTOs and they are regularly audited for quality.

There are two main ways employers can benefit from VET:

  1. upskilling staff
  2. taking on apprentices and trainees.

Upskilling staff

VET is a fast and efficient way of developing your existing workforce.

It will provide your employees with nationally accredited professional development opportunities and keep your business up-to-date with the latest skills and innovations.

VET can really make a difference to your workplace and business capacity:

  • apprentices will bring new skills to your business
  • VET can be used as a part of your staff development programs
  • VET allows you to upskill 'tried and true' employees who know your business.

Need help?

Industry Skills Advisory Council Northern Territory (ISACNT) works with industry, enterprises, government and training providers to improve training arrangements for all industries across the Northern Territory. ISACNT can help you navigate the training system and pursue a highly skilled workforce.

Find out more on the Industry Skills Advisory Council Northern Territory website.

Taking on apprentices and trainees

Australian Apprenticeships Support Network is the first point of contact for businesses that wish to take on apprentices or trainees. On behalf of the Australian and Northern Territory governments, it:

  • conducts sign up visits
  • inspects workplaces and approves employers
  • registers training agreements
  • provides advice and assistance
  • monitors apprentices and trainees and resolves disputes
  • pays Australian and Northern Territory government subsidies to eligible employers, apprentices and trainees
  • conducts site visits to the workplace
  • processes cancellations, assignments and completions
  • issues certificates of registration and other notices to employers and apprentices and trainees.

For more information go to the GTNT website.

What support will government provide?

Around half the cost of skills training is covered by government through a range of funding arrangements and the remainder is covered by the employer or the employee undertaking the training.


Grants designed to provide assistance to students while they study at the certificate, diploma and degree levels.

Find out more about student and financial help and scholarships.

Industry Buildskills Program

The Industry Buildskills Program is a Northern Territory Government initiative under the 'Employment Strategy 2012 - 2015' to assist Territory employers to upskill or re-skill existing workers.​​

Find out more about funding to upskill or reskill employees.

Aboriginal Responsive Skilling Grants

Aboriginal Responsive Skilling Grants funding specifically targets Aboriginal people, for delivery of accredited and non-accredited training that links to work ready or employment on site in Aboriginal communities. Aboriginal communities can access funding at any time throughout the year. ​

Find out more about the Aboriginal Responsive Skilling Grants.

Pre-employment Training Program

The Pre-employment Training Program provides specific training for unskilled or semi-skilled people to gain essential industry skills, which may lead to increased opportunities to successfully complete an apprenticeship or gain skilled employment.​

Find out more about funding for pre-employment training programs.

Workwear / Workgear Bonus

The Workwear / Workgear Bonus is a one-off grant, available to eligible apprentices and trainees, to help with the cost of buying workwear and equipment.​

Find out how to get the bonus for workwear and gear.

Australian Apprenticeships Support Network NT

Australian Apprenticeships attract financial assistance for eligible employers to help reduce the real cost of training.​

For more information go to the GTNT website.

Workforce planning advice and support

The Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade offers programs that can help businesses plan for their long-term employee needs.

The Employment Solutions Program aims to enhance workforce retention and training by the development and implementation of policies and practices designed to assist with sustainable employment outcomes.

Find out more about the Employment Solutions Program on the Northern Territory Government website.