The Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy is paid by employers who sponsor skilled workers from overseas.
The levy helps ensure businesses that benefit from skilled migration also contribute to skills development for Australians. The SAF levy is collected by the Department of Home Affairs.
From 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2022, the levy supported the National Partnership on the Skilling Australians Fund – an agreement between the Australian Government and six State and Territory governments to deliver skills, training and apprenticeships projects.
In late 2022, the Australian Government partnered with all State and Territory governments to deliver the $1 billion 12-Month Skills Agreement, which is making 180,000 Fee-Free TAFE and vocational educational places available in 2023. Fee-Free TAFE places focus on training in sectors of national priority, including care, technology and digital, hospitality and tourism, construction, agriculture, and sovereign capability.
On 16 October 2023, National Cabinet endorsed a landmark National Skills Agreement with States and Territories to boost investment in the Australian vocational education and training system over the next five years from January 2024. Under the Agreement, the Government will provide up to $12.6 billion over 5 years. Combined with the investment of more than $400 million to partner with states and territories to deliver a further 300,000 Fee-Free TAFE and vocational education places from 2024 to 2026, the Government will invest around $13 billion in VET over the next five years.
The value of the NSA and additional investments in initiatives such as Fee Free TAFE far exceed revenue collected from the SAF levy. However, the levy continues to contribute to the Government's capacity to invest in skills and training.