Employers sponsoring under the 457 visa scheme are required to meet a number of requirements before they can be approved as a sponsor.
One such requirement is the need to demonstrate their contribution and commitment to the training of Australians by satisfying one of the “training benchmarks” outlined by DIAC.
The Training Benchmarks
At present there a 2 possible training benchmarks, and an employer must meet one of these benchmarks:
- Employers pay 2 percent of payroll (incurred in the last 12 months) expenditure to an industry training fund related to the employer’s business.
- Employers spend 1 percent of payroll (incurred in the last 12 months) on training their Australian citizen or permanent resident employees.
Both benchmarks require that the employer also makes a commitment to continue their expenditure required by the benchmark for each financial year that they remain a sponsor.
Businesses operating in Australia for less than 12 months (at the time when the application is considered) who cannot satisfy A or B can instead submit a plan in which they outline how they will meet 1 of the training benchmarks within the next year. The plan must be auditable, it must clearly explain the intended expenditure to meet either of the benchmarks and it must show the employer’s clear intention to implement the plan.
A. Employers pay the equivalent of 2 percent or more of recent payroll expenditure (in the last 12 months) to an industry training fund which operates in an industry related to the employer’s business.
Training Benchmark A will be particularly relevant for businesses that have not been able to set up their own employee training program for reasons such as:
- The Business was only recently established; or
- “Sole-trader” businesses (where the owner is the only member of staff and whose training is not counted towards the benchmark – see below); or
- Businesses which employ no Australian citizens or permanent residents.
B. Employers spend the equivalent of 1 percent of payroll (in the last 12 months) on training for their employees who are Australian citizens or permanent residents.
Employers can count training that is formal, structured and conducted for Australian citizens and permanent residents towards meeting the benchmark. The training must also be independently verifiable, meaning that the employer must be able to show evidence that the training has occurred.
We can arrange the training from our different training providing partners.