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Skills development
Pacific worker preparing food

The Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme skills development program provides workers from the Pacific and Timor-Leste with access to training while they are working in Australia.

The program benefits both workers and employers by improving workers’ technical knowledge and abilities and increasing business productivity.

It will be regularly reviewed to ensure it is meeting the ongoing training needs of PALM scheme workers and employers.

Who is eligible for skills development funding?

Funding is available for PALM scheme employers participating in both the short-term/ seasonal (formerly SWP) and longer-term (formerly PLS) programs. The funds contribute to the costs of both accredited and non-accredited training for workers.

Types of training

The types of training PALM scheme workers might participate in are categorised into 4 tiers:

  • Tier 1: preparation including on-arrival and pre-departure briefings.
  • Tier 2: employability and life skills including first aid, driver’s licence, financial literacy, health and hygiene, basic English and reintegration.
  • Tier 3: job skills including forklift licence, safe handling of chemicals, food safety, occupational health and safety.
  • Tier 4: formal qualifications including Certificate I, II and III training in relevant areas.

Please note: the types of training indicated are examples only – this is not a complete list of approved training. Identified training programs should be included in the application for funding support and will be assessed in line with the criteria. The employer is also required to source the service providers for all training.

Skills development training diagram

How funding works

Employer funding is assessed on an ongoing basis and funding is allocated on a monthly basis. Applications that do not fit in the monthly allocation will be rolled over to the following month.

Eligible employers can apply for funding for tiers 2 (employability and life skills), 3 (job skills) and 4 (formal qualifications).

There are different funding and cost-sharing arrangements in place for each tier, as shown in the table below.

Tier Funding arrangements
Tier 1: Preparation Sending countries deliver the pre-departure briefing, employers deliver the on-arrival briefing. No PLF funding is provided for these.
Tier 2: Employability and life skills PLF: 100% of costs (up to $600 per worker per year)
Tier 3: Job skills Employer: 90% of costs
PLF: 10% of costs (up to $150 per worker per year)
Tier 4: Formal qualifications Please note: Worker training for formal qualifications should be directly related to the business’ employment requirements and not impact a worker’s average minimum hours (30 hours per week).

Submitting applications

Applications are to be submitted at least 4 weeks before the stated training date. This is to allow sufficient time for the assessment and approval process.

Please submit applications using the form linked below. A skills development application guide is also linked below. Completed forms should be emailed to (

Please note: the PLF has a total monthly pool of $20,000 of available skills development funding, which will be allocated at the facility’s discretion.

Skills development application form and guide

PALM scheme employers will be notified of the PLF’s decision on their funding application within 7 working days of submission.

Unsuccessful applicants are encouraged to refine their proposals and resubmit an application. PALM scheme employers with unsuccessful applications can also request feedback from the PLF.

For more information on the application process, please email ( or phone (+61 7 3557 7766).