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HomeminewsNew Incentives for Certificate IV in Optical Dispensing

New Incentives for Certificate IV in Optical Dispensing

The Certificate IV in Optical Dispensing course has been added to the Australian Apprenticeships Priority List, effective 1 January 2023.

This means that incentives for training are now available for both new and existing workers who wish to study optical dispensing. Importantly, both the employer and engaged employee receive incentives under this scheme.

  • Employers can receive a 10% wage subsidy for two years, capped at AU$1,500 per quarter, equating to up to $6,000 per year for two years, for a maximum subsidy of $12,000.
  • Employees can claim a training support payment capped at $5,000 for full time and $2,500 for part time, paid in four equal instalments over two years.

Like the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements program, which closed to new enrolments on 31 June 2022, these payments are linked to enrolment and are not dependent on completion. If a student leaves the course for any reason, there is no requirement for either the employer or employee to return payments received up until the time of leaving the course.


Amendments to the New Entrant Hiring Incentives are also making it more financially viable for practices to hire and train inexperienced staff. The incentives comprise:

  • Two equal payments of $1,750, made at the six and 12-month mark of full-time employment, subject to training commencing ($3,500 in total), or
  • Two equal payments of $875, made at the six and 12-month mark of part-time employment, subject to training commencing ($1,750 in total). Unlike previous new entrant hiring incentives, these payments are contingent on course enrolment but not on completion. James Gibbins and Chedy Kalach, Directors of the Australasian College of Optical Dispensing, have welcomed the inclusion of the Certificate IV in Optical Dispensing to the Australian Apprenticeships Priority List and the New Entrant Hiring Incentives.

“While not as generous as the BAC program, we believe this new program will have another profound effect on enrolments throughout our industry,” they said in a statement.

“In particular, we have received widespread feedback from employers in recent years concerning employees reluctant to sign up to the course, sometimes because they are concerned about the incidental costs they will incur during their course – possibly like requiring a new computer.

We believe the employee incentive will be extremely attractive to many optical assistants and will make the difference for many in choosing to enrol.” Mr Gibbins said it may also be possible for students who have dropped out of the Certificate IV in Optical Dispensing course to access the incentives if they re-enrol.

“Our early advice is that if a trainee has left the course for any reason previously, it is possible for them to reengage, to re-start a traineeship, and be eligible for all benefits. However, we want to test this further with multiple Australian Apprenticeship Support Networks before confirming.”

Find out more about eligible courses at: www.dewr.gov.au/skills-support-individuals/ resources/appendix-australian-apprenticeshippriority- list.

“we believe this new program will have another profound effect on enrolments throughout our industry” “

Our early advice is that if a trainee has left the course for any reason previously, it is possible for them to reengage, to re-start a traineeship, and be eligible for all benefits”