If you are an Australian business wishing to sponsor an overseas national for employment in your business in Australia, for example under a subclass 457 Business (Temporary) Long Stay visa, or under the Employer Nomination Scheme visas, you will be required to meet the ‘training benchmark’ both at time of application, and for the length of the visa.
As a business operator, you are required to show that you have been and continue to be providing employers who are Australian citizens and permanent residents with training that relates to the purpose of the business.
If your business has been operating for 12 months or more you are required to demonstrate that you meet the prescribed benchmark for the training of Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents. If your business has been operating for less than 12 months, you must demonstrate that you have an auditable plan to meet this training benchmark.
There are two ways you can meet the training benchmark:
Option 1 – Payments to an industry training fund
You can make payments equivalent to at least two percent of the business’s payroll to an industry training fund. You will also need to show a commitment to maintaining this expenditure for each fiscal year that you are a sponsor (sponsorships remain valid for three years); or
Option 2 – Training of Australian employees
You will need to be able to show that recent expenditure by the business on training Australian employees is equivalent to at least one percent of the business’s payroll. Again, you will need to show a commit to maintaining this expenditure in each fiscal year that you are a sponsor.
The following expenditure can count towards meeting this benchmark:
– Paying for a formal course of study for the business’s employees who are Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents or for TAFE or University students, as part of the organisational training strategy
– Funding a scholarship in a formal course of study approved under the Australian Qualifications Framework for the business’s employees who are Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents or, for TAFE or University students, as part of the organisational training strategy
– Employment of apprentices, trainees or recent graduates on an ongoing basis in numbers proportionate to the size of the business
– Employment of a person who trains the business’ Australian employees who are Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents as a key part of their job
– Evidence of payment of external providers to deliver training for Australian employees
– On-the-job training that is structured with a time-frame and clearly identified increase in the skills at each stage, and demonstrating:
- The learning outcomes of the employee at each stage,
- How the progress of the employee will be monitored and assessed;
- How the program will provide additional and enhanced skills;
- The use of qualified trainers to develop the program and set assessments; and
- The number of people participating and their skill/occupation
Your obligations as a sponsor
It is crucial that as a sponsor you continue to meet the training benchmark every year that you remain a sponsor. If you are considering sponsoring any of your 457 visa holding employees under the ENS or RSMS later on, your case officer will check to make sure that you have continued to meet your obligations as a sponsor. Not meeting the training benchmark can have further ramifications for any further sponsorship applications.
If you would like more information about training benchmarks please contact our Migration Team.