About your Fees

What is User Choice?

As a Skills Assure Supplier, we are funded to provide Assessment and Training under the Queensland Government, Department of Employment, Small Business and Training (DESBT) User Choice Policy.

The User Choice program supports delivery of accredited entry-level training to apprentices and trainees.

The program works in conjunction with the Commonwealth Australian Apprentices System. Under which apprentices and trainees enter into legally binding training contracts with their employers and receive structured training to achieve a nationally recognized qualification.

The User Choice program provides a public funding contribution towards the cost of training and assessment to eligible Queensland apprentices and trainees, with this funding paid directly to the approved training supplier, subject to the conditions set out in the VET Skills Assure Supplier Agreement.

The program provides greater flexibility for apprentices, trainees and their employers to select a training supplier of their choice and to negotiate the type of training they require.

Gold Coast Trades College and Queensland Trades College have a Best of Both Worlds approach to training our Apprentices – we have our Trainers go on site to assess the work that they do onsite, and we have 2 fully equipped campuses that allow us to train and assess the tasks that can’t be assessed on site. We work with our Employers to establish which units will be done onsite and which units will require the Apprentice to attend College for a Workshop. Our easy to use online theory platform is optimized for use on a smart phone, so Apprentices can work on their theory from anywhere, anytime.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for User Choice funding an apprentice or trainee must:

  • Have entered into a formal training contract for a qualification that is funded by DESBT
  • Be registered in the DESBT’s registration system (DELTA)
  • Select a training provider that holds a current Skills Assure Contract for the nominated qualification

Apprentices and trainees can only receive one government contribution for a User Choice funded qualification at any single point in time i.e. a student is not funded to undertake two apprenticeships or traineeships at the same time.

In addition, apprentices and trainees, Including School-Based Trainees, can only receive a maximum of two government funding contributions under the current User Choice program.

What fees will I expect to pay?

As part of your apprenticeship, you are required to pay a student contribution fee unless you fall within one of the exemption categories listed below.  The student contribution fees under User Choice are set by DESBT at $1.60 per nominal hour for each unit of competency.

The fees may be paid by the student, employer or a third party. 

These student contribution fees are calculated prior to the commencement of training and an invoice will be issued to the student or person nominated to pay the fees.  Payments can be made via EFT, credit card or through EziDebit if a payment arrangement has been setup.

School-based trainees are exempt from the payment of co-contribution fees.

Partial/Concessional exemption of fees (40% of the current rate – $0.64 per nominal hour) is available for:

  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander students
  • students who hold a Health Care or Pensioner Concession Card or who are named a dependant of a person who holds such a card

Full exemption of fees are available in the following circumstances (please provide us evidence, where you wish to claim the exemption):

  • Where the student commenced a high-priority apprenticeship/traineeship from 1 Jan 2021 – 31 Dec 2023 and is under 25 years of age at the time of commencement
  • Where a student can demonstrate that payment of fees would cause extreme financial hardship and each case
  • Where a school-based apprentice/trainee who has graduated Year 12 and has converted to either a fulltime or parttime apprenticeship/traineeship in a high priority qualification.

Please note: if you are experiencing any difficulty in paying for these fees, please contact us to discuss options for a payment plan.

An initial payment of $300 is charged at commencement to cover the initial units.  Once we have established your chosen electives an invoice will be sent for the remainder of the units with the option to:

  • Pay the remainder of the fees in full; or
  • Pay the remainder of the fees via a payment plan of up to 18 months duration negotiated with the college.

Estimated User Choice Course Fees – Apprenticeships

Course Code


Approx nominal hours

Est Price Range (depending on electives chosen)

Est Conc Price Range (depending on electives chosen)


Certificate III in Carpentry





Certificate III in Painting and Decorating





Certificate III in Roof Plumbing





Certificate III in Wall and Floor Tiling





Certificate III in Wall and Ceiling Lining





Certificate III in Solid Plastering





Certificate III in Landscape Construction




User Choice Refunds

Where an apprentice/trainee either cancels their training contract or changes to another SRTO we will refund any fees that have been paid for training not undertaken.  If training has been undertaken but not completed a proportionate refund will be issued.

Please see the STUDENT HANDBOOK for our Refund Policy.

For further information please visit DESBT’s information pages.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Ⓒ 2022 - All Rights Are Reserved - RTO 31175