The Skilling Australians Fund (SAF)

As of Monday 12 August 2018, the Migration Amendment (Skilling Australians Fund) Act 2018 took effect. The National Training Contribution Charge (NTCC) will replace the previous way that business sponsors contributed towards the training of Australian employees, namely via paying 1% of their annual payroll towards the staff training of Australian members.

The SAF is the responsbility of the sponsor, and needs to be paid before the Nomination can be lodged. The contribution to the Fund is dependant on the size of the business, as follows:

Small Business
(turnover under $10m)
Large Business
(turnover over $10m)
TSS $1,200 $1,800
ENS/RSMS $3,000 $5,000

With the TSS program the above levy is a calculated as an annual cost for each year that the candidate will be sponsored for (up to 4 years).

According to the SAF’s website, the government expects to collect around $1.5 billion over the next 4 years (not all from lodged visas), which will go towards training and supporting apprenticeships of Australians and permanent residents. See here.

While the levy may be viewed initially as an additinoal expense, for some companies it will present a saving. Companies with large payrolls sponsoring only a few employees may find the SAF contributions to be a lower amount than the previous 1% of payroll required. The levy is likely to be available as a tax deduction along with similar recruitment / retention / HR costs. And significantly, it will make ensuring compliance by business with their training commitments a far easier task.