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User Choice

User Choice apprenticeship and traineeship funding

What is the User Choice Program?

Traineeships and Apprenticeships offer the ability to ‘learn and earn’ from day one. The User Choice program provides public funding for the delivery of accredited, entry level training to apprentices and trainees. The program aims to provide funding aligned to the skills needs of industry and respond to changing government priorities.

The program provides the flexibility for apprentices, trainees and their employers to select a preferred registered training organisation (RTO) from a list of pre-qualified suppliers for the delivery of nationally recognised, accredited training to meet their specific needs. The program works in conjunction with the Commonwealth Australian Apprenticeships System, under which apprentices and trainees (also known in some jurisdictions as "Australian Apprentices") enter into legally binding training contracts with their employers and receive structured training to achieve a nationally recognised qualification. 

Eligibility Criteria

Prospective students must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident and New Zealand citizens who have entered Australia on a valid passport, have unrestricted rights to employment in Australia.
  • Workplace address is in Queensland (An apprentice or trainee can have an interstate residential and/or postal address and still be registered with the department, if the physical workplace address is in Queensland and the apprentice or trainee works at that address.)
  • Age requirements 17yrs or older. (If the Apprentice or trainee is under 18 years of age at the date of signing the training contract, the signed consent of a parent or guardian is required.)

New or Existing workers eligible to undertake an apprenticeship or traineeship:

  • Full-time apprentices and trainees work and train full-time, usually from 36 to 38 hours a week.
  • Part-time apprentices and trainees work and train no less than 15 hours per week, averaged over a four week cycle.

School-Based Traineeships 

A School Based Trainee (SAT) must:

  • Be at least 15 years of age;
  • Must be enrolled at a secondary school in years 10, 11 or 12
  • SAT must enter a training agreement with an employer. The school and the family must support this.
  • It is expected that the employer will provide 7.5 hours per week of paid employment, which may be averaged over a three - month period.
  • Periods of paid employment must never fall below the minimum of 375 hours (50 days) per 12 month period from the commencement of the school-based training contract.

Please note: Secondary school students will not pay any fees for a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship.
For more information:

Information for employers 

For employers, Australian Apprentices can bring new and valuable resources and skills into a business. Traineeships allow you to develop qualified loyal staff that are familiar with your company, your work environment, your standards, your equipment and your customers. There are plenty of benefits to employers that include the following:

  • Qualified employees trained your way for your business
  • Government funding assistance for the training of eligible apprentices and trainees
  • Financial benefits for you including Commonwealth Government incentives
  • Greater customer satisfaction through well trained staff

What can I study with ACCCO?

CHC30113 Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care

CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support

CHC50113 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care

Cost to the Participant

The majority of the course fees are contributed by the Department of Education and Training (DET) except for the Student Contribution Fee. The student contribution fee, may be paid on behalf of the student by their employer or another third party, but cannot be paid or waived by ACCCO.

The government contribution will be detailed in the apprentice or trainee’s Letter of Registration from the department, and is subject to student eligibility and their selection of an eligible PQS as their SRTO. Payment of funding is subject to the conditions set out in the VET Pre-qualified Supplier Agreement.

Workplace-based delivery  

Certificate III and Diploma of Early Childhood Apprenticeships are FREE for students under 21 years of age

Qualification Name
Number of Units
Nominal Hours
Student Contribution Fee
Partial Exemption 40% (concession) SAT - School based apprentices/trainees
  (Full exemption) 
Fee-free Year 12 Graduates Free Apprenticeships for under 21 years of age
CHC30113 Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care
848 $1,356.80
$1.60 per nominal hour
$0.64 per
nominal hour
$0.00 $0.00
CHC50113 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care
$1.60 per nominal hour
$0.64 per
nominal hour
$0.00 $0.00
CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support
$1.60 per
nominal hour
$0.64 per
nominal hour
$0.00 N/A

Please note:

  • Course fees include all resources and materials.
  • ABSA’s are exempt from paying student fees for the Certificate III in Early Childhood qualification and Certificate III in Education Support under the User Choice program while they are still at school.
  • Certificate III and Diploma of Early Childhood qualifications are FEE FREE for year 12 graduates, for more information > Click Here <
  • Certificate III and Diploma of Early Childhood qualifications are FREE for students under 21 years of age, for more information > Click Here <
  • Students who do not meet the eligibility criteria for User Choice Funding, fees will be calculated at the Fee-For-Service rates  > Click Here <

Am I eligible for Concession?

The following students are entitled to the concession rate on course fees:

  • The participant was or will be under 17 years of age at the end of February in the year in which the PQS provides training, and the participant is not at school and has not completed year 12.
  • The participant holds a Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card issued under Commonwealth law, or is the partner or a dependant of a person who holds a Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card, and is named on the card.
  • The participant issues the PQS with an official form under Commonwealth law confirming that the participant, his or her partner or the person of whom the participant is a dependant, is entitled to concessions under a Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card.
  • The participant is an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person. Acceptable evidence is as stated on the Training Contract and AVETMISS VET Enrolment Form.

Fee Waiver (extreme financial hardship)

  • Where payment of the student contribution fee would cause extreme financial hardship, then the PQS may waive these fees.
  • The fee waiver process should be in place at the time of the participant’s enrolment.
  • Where the Queensland Government, as represented by the departmental officer responsible for the User Choice budget, advises in writing that fees are optional.
  • The PQS must apply full exemption from the student contribution fee where the participant falls into one or more of the following exemption categories:
  • Where credit transfer/national recognition has been applied to a unit of competency/module
  • Where the participant is a school-based apprentice or trainee is undertaking a qualification as part of the Skilling Queenslanders for Work’s Work Skills Traineeship program.
  • Fee-free for year 12 graduates who commence an apprenticeship/traineeship within 12 months of completing Year 12 (that is, by the end of the calendar year following completion of Year 12.)

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

RPL is an assessment only process for experienced workers who are seeking formal recognition of their existing skills and knowledge. Read more

Credit Transfer

Credit transfer (sometimes known as advanced standing) is awarded when a student has completed the units required for a qualification at another Registered Training Organisation. This may reduce the amount of time it will take you to gain a qualification, and reduce the overall cost. ACCCO provides credit transfer free of chargeRead more

Payment Options

Upfront Payment

Students can choose to pay up to $1500 of their student contribution fees upfront at enrolment. Further payments of up to $1500 can be made at later stages of a student's enrolment. ACCCO accepts the following payment methods:

  • Credit Card
  • Bank Transfer
  • Cheque

Payment Plan

Students can choose to enter into a payment plan arrangement to pay off their student contribution fees in smaller amounts over a period of time.

Students entering into an ACCCO payment plan have the option of fortnightly or monthly payments. Students with contributions fees of over $1500 can also request a weekly payment plan.

Payment plans require an initial upfront payment towards their student contribution fees to set up the plan, and then each payment period a recurring payment amount is direct debited from the student's nominated account.

Students are given recurring payment amount options when setting up their plan.

Example plans are given below.

Total Student
Contribution Fees
Upfront Payment Amount Recurring Payment Details
$500.00  $50.00 $25.00 x 18 fortnightly payments
$800.00 $100.00 $50.00 x 14 monthly payments
$4630.00 $310.00 $80 x 54 weekly payments

 Please note the above is an example only and may not reflect your actual course fees or the applicable payment plan options.

Please contact our enrolments team on 1300 139 406 to discuss payment options applicable to you.

Pay As You Go

Students that are not receiving any funding for their course can choose to pay as they go. This is where a student will pay the fees for each unit of competency prior to commencing it.

Important information

An apprentice or trainee can only receive one government contribution for a User Choice funded qualification at any single point in time. Once you complete a maximum of two government contributions for a User Choice funded qualification you will no longer be eligible for further subsidised training under the User Choice 2017–20 program.

Please note that pricing and course availability is subject to change without notice. For more information on this program you can download the Queensland Government User Choice policy here.

How to Apply

Step 1. Find an Employer

Before entering into an apprenticeship, the student must find an employer willing to take them on as a trainee or apprentice. You and your employer will need to sign a formal training contract.

You can find an employer by:

  • Search job websites such as and newspaper advertisements
  • Talk to early childhood services in your local area
  • asking your friends, family and others in your community about what might be available
  • talk to an Apprenticeship Network Provider as they may be able to link you with potential employers

Step 2. Commence Employment

Once the student commences employment, you will need to fill out a trainee/sign up request form and return to

Step 3. Choose an Apprenticeship Network Provider

Your Apprenticeship Network Provider will help you sign a training contract with your employer. They will work with you and your employer to identify the training and support you need. The training contract may commence on the same day that employment commences or may commence at a later date.

Step 4. Commence Training

As part of your traineeship you will undertake a nationally recognised qualification with ACCCO who will provide the training for the Australian Trainee. 

Any Questions?

For assistance with your enrolment, our Traineeship and Apprenticeship Coordinator is more than happy to help you with any questions you may have. Contact us now and we'll get you started... 


Ready to take the next step? Contact our Apprenticeship Coordinator today or fill out the request form!

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