2021-22 Budget

The 2021-22 Budget invests in measures that support Australian families, strengthens student educational outcomes, and will help secure Australia’s ongoing economic recovery through skills and employment.

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Changes to the Child Care Subsidy will ensure families with multiple children continue to access affordable child care, while a $2 billion funding reform commitment over four years will strengthen preschool attendance to better prepare children for school. The Government will also invest in programs to better support teachers, students, and young Australians, while providing support for our vital international education sector.

Further investments will continue to protect jobs through flexible wage subsidies, expand the successful JobTrainer and Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements programs – building on the employment gains achieved to date. Delivering the New Employment Service Model (NESM) will transform how we connect job seekers with employment opportunities and employment service providers.

Early Childhood and Child Care

The Australian Government will provide $1.7 billion over three years from 2022-23 (and $671.2 million per annum ongoing from 2025-26) to assist families with more than one child under six in child care and reduce out-of-pocket costs by:

  • increasing the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) rate by 30 per cent for the second child and subsequent children aged five years and under in care (excluding In Home Care), up to a maximum CCS rate of 95 per cent, commencing on 11 July 2022; and
  • removing the CCS annual cap of $10,560 per child per year for families between $189,390 and $353,680 (in 2020-21 terms), commencing on 1 July 2022.

The Government will also develop a central website to make it easier for families to get information about local child care services, fees and vacancies, and reduce the administrative burden on providers. while a joint monitoring and data sharing project will improve child care quality and compliance operations.

A new $2 billion, four-year national reform commitment will be established to strengthen the delivery of preschool and better prepare children to start school. The commitment locks in ongoing Australian Government funding beyond 2025, with reforms to be agreed with all states and territories to lift preschool attendance and outcomes.

Schools and Youth

To help support teachers, school students, families, and young Australians, the Australian Government is providing:

  • The Australian Government will invest $20.0 million over four years to continue the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD) Continuous Quality Improvement Measure.
  • $5.8 million to continue the collection of the Australian Teacher Workforce Data to identify long term trends and emerging issues affecting the teacher workforce, and $4 million to continue the delivery of the Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education.
  • $16.6 million to assist boarding providers as they continue to respond to issues associated with COVID-19, and better support the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander boarding students.
  • $8.1 million over four years for Together for Humanity to increase the scope of a program that educates students, teachers and parents about diversity, and to foster greater inter-cultural understanding and a sense of belonging.
  • $3.0 million to support up to 4,500 young people aged 14 to 24 years who require additional assistance to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.

Higher Education, Research and International

The Australian Government will provide a financial incentive for universities to invest in research PhD students and develop closer links with industry, by providing:

  • An additional $30,000 per research PhD graduate who undertakes a three-month industry internship commencing within the first 18 months of enrolment, on top of the $30,000 or $70,000 base funding universities already receive for an existing research PhD student completion. This measure will drive industry-based learning, build stronger employment pathways for PhD students, and create stronger links between universities and industry.

The Government will also implement a $53.6 million package of measures to support international education providers through fee and regulatory relief, and targeted support for those providers most affected by COVID-19. Measures include:

  • $17.7 million to extend regulatory fee relief until 31 December 2021 for CRICOS (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students), TEQSA (Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency), and ASQA (Australian Skills Quality Authority) fees and charges.
  • $9.4 million to establish an Innovation Fund for private higher education and English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) providers for up to $150,000 to adjust their business models and grow offshore and online education delivery.
  • Further extend the FEE-HELP loan fee exemption for private higher education providers, benefiting about 30,000 existing and prospective students through lower fees, and encouraging more domestic students to enrol with private providers.
  • $26.1 million for an extra 5,000 short course places at non-university higher education providers in Semester 2, 2021. This will allow providers to expand their course offerings to domestic students and support the upskilling of Australians.
  • Removing the requirement for private international education providers to report overseas students’ tuition fees each month, which will help generate about $7.1 million in administrative savings for the sector across all providers.

Skills and Training

To help Australians get the skills they need, the Australian Government is investing in apprenticeships, skills and training.

  • The $1 billion JobTrainer Fund will be expanded to continue delivering low fee or free training places in areas of skills need. The Government will invest an additional $500 million, to be matched by state and territory governments, to ensure Australians can skill up, including around 10,000 additional digital skills training places and around 33,800 additional training places in the aged care sector.
  • The Government is continuing to negotiate a new National Skills Agreement with the states and territories. These reforms will support high-quality and relevant training that is responsive to current and future skills needs, with more opportunities for Australians. 
  • The Government will invest $2.7 billion to extend and expand the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements (BAC) wage subsidy. This includes $1.2 billion to uncap the program and extend the subsidy to 12 months from the date of commencement, and an additional $1.5 billion to extend the commencement period for another six months to 31 March 2022.
  • The Government will invest $30.9 million to deliver a new National Training Register to support work with the states and territories to reform qualifications design.
  • A $12.1 million National Digital Australian Apprenticeships Portal will be established as a one-stop-shop to help employers manage their apprentice workforces and for apprentices to understand their entitlements.  
  • $149.2 million over four years will be invested to support new industry engagement arrangements for the VET system, enhancing the role of industry and improving governance. Industry clusters will be established to ensure a strong, strategic industry voice, drive collaboration across sectors, address workforce challenges, and improve the speed to market of qualifications to meet evolving industry needs.
  • The Government will provide $19.6 million for the Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) program to assist more job seekers to access the program and achieve meaningful outcomes by uncapping the number of hours job seekers are able to access; and to expand the outreach role of the Reading Writing Hotline.
  • The Government is also helping secure Australia’s recovery through its Digital Workforce package, which will see 20,000 individuals upskill and reskill in digital fields including through:
    • Supporting over 3,000 digital apprentices and trainees through the BAC.
    • $4.0 million as part of the Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) Program will accelerate the introduction of digital skills via support for up to 40 projects to incorporate digital literacy training
    • Foundation Skills for Your Future Program – Digital Project Rounds – funding of $5 million will prioritise around 20 projects with a digital skills focus to improve foundation level language, literacy, numeracy and digital skills for employed or recently unemployed individuals. 
    • A $10.7 million new Digital Skills Cadetship Trial will help more Australians to develop high level digital skills in fields such as cybersecurity, advanced manufacturing, data analytics, game design and animation. 
  • The National Careers Institute’s Partnerships Grants program will also be expanded, offering $12.2 million to support innovative projects that facilitate more career opportunities and supported career pathways for women.
  • The Government will provide $7.6 million over two years to extend the National Careers Institute’s (NCI) 1800 CAREER Information Service, which supports young people aged 15 to 24, to 30 June 2023.


The Australian Government will support more Australians into employment through the biggest transformational reform of employment services in more than 20 years. This will include:

  • Boosting job security by increasing the current $6,500 wage subsidies available to all businesses through jobactive, Transition to Work and ParentsNext to $10,000 from 1 July 2021. This includes subsidies for young people, parents and the long-term unemployed. From July 2022, all wage subsidies will also be more flexible to meet employer needs.
  • Investing an extra $129.8 million to provide greater support and flexibility for job seekers wanting to start up their own businesses. Up to 12,000 places will now be on offer as part of New Business Assistance with the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme.
  • Delivering the New Employment Services Model (NESM), which will replace jobactive from July 2022. This reform will modernise how government connects job seekers with employment, placing job seekers in the driver’s seat of their journey from welfare into work with digital and tailored assistance, and safeguards to ensure no one is left behind.
  • $481.2 million to support vulnerable and disadvantaged young people as part of NESM. The existing Transition to Work service will expand to support an average caseload of around 40,000 young people, providing tailored support to help them transition into work or education, including apprenticeships or traineeships.
  • Expand the Local Jobs Program through a $213.5 million investment over four years, doubling the number of regions in the program.
  • To support women into the workforce the Career Revive pilot program will be expanded, with 60 additional businesses given support to help them attract and retain women in their business.
  • Investing $6.2 million to hold up to 26 Jobs Fairs from June 2021 to June 2022.

Portfolio Budget Statements 2021-22

Media Releases

Securing our Economic Recovery by keeping Australians working - Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business

Backing Australian families to secure our recovery - Minister for Education and Youth