Skilling Australia’s Defence Industry (SADI) Grants provide businesses servicing the defence sector with upskilling and training opportunities to build skills capacity and capability to meet current or future Defence needs. Grants are up to $500K.
Deadlines and Timings
Applications are open and you may apply at any time. The expected timing of the grant opportunity are given below, and if successful, your project is expected to commence within one month of receiving the offer of grant funding.
- Assessment of applications: 4 weeks
- Approval of outcomes of selection process: 4 weeks
- Negotiations and award of grant agreements: 4 weeks
- Notification to unsuccessful applicants: 2 weeks
- End date of grant commitment: 30 June 2026
Overview and Grant Amount
The Skilling Australia’s Defence Industry Grants Program will provide grants to businesses over three years to help develop defence sector skills and human resources practices and training plans. The objectives of the program are to:
- reduce barriers faced by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the defence sector when upskilling or retraining staff
- develop skills within SMEs in the defence sector
- support SMEs in the defence sector to establish human resources practices and training plans that will build lifelong learning activities into their business
The grant amount will be up to 100% of eligible project expenditure.
- The minimum grant amount is $5,000
- The maximum grant amount is $500,000
You may apply for multiple grants or group multiple eligible activities into one application. As a COVID recovery support initiative, a co-contribution towards eligible expenditure is not required. The guidelines will be updated should a co-contribution be required for future grants.
Eligibility and Criteria
To be eligible, you must:
- have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
- be non-income tax exempt (unless you are a defence industry association training your own staff or facilitating training to businesses you are representing)
and be one of the following entities:
- an entity incorporated in Australia
- an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust
Applications will only be accepted if you:
- are an SME (with less than 200 employees) that currently service, or intend to service, the defence industry sector and (i) have a current defence contract; (ii) currently tendering or preparing to tender for a defence contract; (iii) a current subcontractor to a defence prime or contracted through the prime’s supply chain to deliver on defence projects
- defence industry associations applying (i) for training their own staff; (ii) to facilitate eligible activities for businesses they are representing, (a) where the represented business fulfils the eligibility criteria; (b) the represented business provides consent for the application; and (c) the value of the project apportioned to the business does not exceed the represented business’s funding cap available to the business under the SADI program
Eligible projects must:
- be aimed at increasing defence related skills capacity or capability within your organisation or within a group of defence industry businesses represented by an industry association, that is required to meet current or future defence capability needs; and
- be delivered by a registered training organisation (RTO), a tertiary education provider (university or TAFE), an experienced training provider, a professional or industry association, an appropriately qualified employee in your business or an original equipment manufacturer (OEM)
Eligible activities include:
- technical and trade skills training, for example, design, engineering, project/program management, logistics, understanding Commonwealth Government processes, such as procurement services and Defence operations, support services (including information technology and cyber security)
- human resources training and skills development practices with a focus on building lifelong learning including cultural change, change management, human resource strategies/systems, employee training and development facilitation and workforce planning
- micro credentials courses, which may not yet be part of a training package or accredited course but are required to meet defence capability requirements. This can include different combinations of training modules to form new skill sets and training tailored to meet specific business needs
- apprenticeship supervision support to provide supervision, by an appropriately qualified employee in your business, to an apprentice who primarily spends their time on defence projects according to the following scale per applicant, funding caps may apply:
- Year 1 – $4,000 per semester towards the costs of supervision
- Year 2 – $3,000 per semester towards the costs of supervision
- Year 3 – $2,000 per semester towards the costs of supervision
- Year 4 – $1,000 per semester towards the costs of supervision
- on-the-job training supervision support where the supervisor providing the training is an appropriately qualified employee in your business, is purely technical in nature and directly supports Defence projects. Support may be funded at an hourly rate of $80.00 (funding caps may apply) and you must demonstrate that the training:
- is being supervised by a suitably qualified employee in your business
- is of a purely technical nature (e.g., machine use)
- is directly in support of a defence contract or contracts
- the level of competency attained can be verified
- the trainee is not an apprentice
- the training activity is not classroom based
- log books (for the training and hours of supervision) can be provided if required by the Commonwealth
- OEM training where the training is not incorporated in the products purchase price for a maximum of three staff (you must provide evidence). You must supply, at the time of application submission:
- a training plan/syllabus
- an itemised quote for the proposed training
- correspondence from the OEM that clearly states that the training costs were not incorporated in the product purchase price; and if applying for training to be undertaken overseas, correspondence from the OEM that clearly states that the training is not available in Australia
Eligible expenditure items are:
- staff training costs and on-the-job training fees including TAFE, university, online training courses, training instructors (internal and external) and OEM training
- costs incurred in conducting training activities including training materials, text books, external venue hire and audio-visual equipment hire
- domestic travel limited to the reasonable cost of accommodation and transportation required to conduct agreed project activities in Australia
- overseas travel limited to the reasonable cost of accommodation and transportation to receive approved training where a comparable alternative is not available in Australia
- Human resources skills training to directly improve the staff retention capability of the business and encourage staff in continuous learning
Interested parties may submit their accomplished application forms for the SADI program grant via the online Customer Portal. Applicants are encouraged to read through all the criteria set by the guidelines of this grant.
Treadstone experts can help you understand government grants and maximise the benefits for your business. We have been helping clients since 2008 and our clients can testify to our proven success record. Working with us means you get the maximum grant with minimum risk and effort. Our expertise includes R&D Tax Incentive registration and tax schedules, Export Grants, Capital Expenditure and Infrastructure Grants.
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