This information reflects the previous government. It is in the process of being updated.

National Careers Institute Partnership Grants Program Round 4 - Career needs for young people

The National Careers Institute Partnership Grants program provides grants from $20,000 to $350,000 to deliver innovative career guidance services for young people at all stages of their careers.
This grant is currently closed to applications

What do you get?

Grants from $20,000 to $350,000, for projects up to 12 months.

Who is this for?

Grants are for entities that contribute to career guidance services including industry, employers, schools, local and state governments and researchers.


The National Careers Institute Partnership Grants program provides grants from $20,000 to $350,000 for up to 12 months to enhance partnerships with industry, employers, and schools to deliver innovative career advisory products and services for people at all stages of their careers.

The objectives for round 4 of the program are to:

  • create greater awareness of career pathways and career information for young people not in education, employment or training
  • contribute to an evidence base for addressing the needs of young people who are disengaged from education, employment or training
  • enhance partnerships between employers, training providers, schools and community organisations that assist disengaged young people into further learning and work, including jobs in demand.

The intended outcomes of the program are:

  • enhanced career pathways that help young people reach their full career potential
  • increased understanding by young people of the skills sought by employers
  • stronger collaboration in the delivery of career guidance to young people
  • improved quality of career guidance to young people.

Refer to the grant opportunity guidelines for detail about eligible grant activities.

We recommend that your proposed project complement the work of the National Careers Institute.


The eligibility criteria are a set of rules that describe who we can consider for this grant. This grant is now closed, but you could have applied if you:

  • are an eligible entity
  • have an eligible project
  • have eligible expenditure.

The rules are in the grant opportunity guidelines.

To be eligible you must have an Australian business number (ABN) and be one of the following entities:

  • an entity, incorporated in Australia
  • an incorporated not for profit organisation
  • a primary or secondary school that is registered with a state or territory authority

  • an Australian local government agency or body as defined in section 14 of the guidelines
  • an Australian State/Territory Government agency or body.

Joint applications are mandatory and you must have a lead organisation who is the main driver of the project and is eligible to apply. For further information on joint applications, refer to section 7.1 of the grant guidelines.

Government schools without an ABN may apply using their state or territory department’s ABN.

We can only accept applications where you have identified one or more partners that will support the delivery of your project. You must include partners from BOTH categories (unless you are one of the categories) below:

  • a school/group of schools, educators/group of educators, community group or organisation focussed on services to young people
  • an employer/employer group, industry body or training organisation (including group training organisations).

If you, as the lead applicant fall under one category, you only need to include a partner from the other category because you will list yourself against your category.

Some examples of partnerships, and how to list them in the application form are included below:

  1. I am an industry body and I am the applicant, and I am partnering with a school. You would list yourself against category 2, and the school against category 1. By doing this you have listed a partner from each category.
  2. I am a group of educators and I am the applicant, and I am partnering with a community organisation. This partnership is not eligible as both partners are from category 1. If you are a group of educators and the applicant, you can only have yourself against category 1. To be eligible, your partner needs to be from category 2.
  3. I am a community organisation and the applicant, and I am partnering with an employer and a training organisation, so I have 3 organisations in my partnership. Two partners are from category 2 and one partner is from category 1. By having this, and listing them in these categories, you have listed a partner from each category.

Not eligible

You are not eligible to apply if you are:

  • an organisation, or your project partner is an organisation, included on the National Redress Scheme’s website list of ‘Institutions that have not joined or signified their intent to join the Scheme’ (
  • an employer of 100 or more employees that has not complied with the Workplace Gender Equality Act (2012)
  • an individual
  • an unincorporated association
  • any organisation not included in section 4.1 of the grant opportunity guidelines
  • a trust (however, an incorporated trustee may apply on behalf of a trust)
  • a non-corporate Commonwealth entity.

To be eligible your project must:

  • target young people aged 15-24
  • be aimed at developing or expanding innovative approaches to improving career guidance projects, activities or services, as referred to in the glossary in section 14 of the grant opportunity guidelines
  • address career guidance service gaps by developing and/or enhancing partnerships between employers, training providers, schools and community organisations,
  • have at least $20,000 in eligible expenditure.

Eligible activities may include but are not limited to:

  • delivering innovative career guidance programs, initiatives or services directly assisting:
    • disengaged young people (not in education or training)
    • young people whose careers have been impacted by COVID-19
    • young Indigenous people
    • young migrant people
    • unemployed young people.
  • establishing or enhancing career guidance programs, initiatives or services with business/industry partners
  • building career guidance capacity in organisations/groups that focus on young people and/or young people’s issues
  • building career advice capacity for young people in schools and facilitating stronger links between employers, training providers, schools and community organisations
  • growing awareness of new and emerging industries and skills in demand, enhancing connections to industry and employers.

We may also approve other activities.

You can only spend grant funds on eligible expenditure you have incurred on an agreed project as defined in your grant agreement.

Eligible expenditure items are:

  • salaries and on-costs for personnel directly employed for the project activities (this should be calculated on a pro-rata basis relative to their time commitment)
  • contractor costs
  • costs related to recruiting or contracting specialist staff directly related to the project
  • purchase of computing equipment and software directly related to the project
  • costs of developing and delivering workshops, professional development, networking events forums, and courses (including travel costs for key participants)
  • developing and producing communications and marketing collateral, e.g. brochures, pamphlets and promotional items that are directly related to the project
  • domestic travel limited to the reasonable cost of accommodation and transportation required to conduct agreed project and collaboration activities in Australia
  • the cost of an independent audit of project expenditure (where we request one) up to a maximum of 1 per cent of total eligible project expenditure.

We may update the guidance on eligible and ineligible expenditure from time to time. If your application is successful, the version in place when you submitted your application applies to your project.

  • If your application is successful, we may ask you to verify project costs that you provided in your application. You may need to provide evidence such as quotes for major costs.

Not all expenditure on your project may be eligible for grant funding. The Program Delegate (who is a manager within the department with responsibility for the program) makes the final decision on what is eligible expenditure and may give additional guidance on eligible expenditure if required.

To be eligible, expenditure must:

  • be a direct cost of the project
  • be incurred by you for required project audit activities.

You must incur the project expenditure between the project start and end date for it to be eligible unless stated otherwise.

You may elect to commence your project from the date we notify you that your application is successful. We are not responsible for any expenditure you incur until a grant agreement is executed. The Commonwealth will not be liable, and should not be held out as being liable, for any activities undertaken before the grant agreement is executed.


The National Careers Institute Partnership Grants Program Round 4 is closed to applications.

We know many businesses have concerns about the impact of COVID-19 on grant applications and grant management. When applying for a grant, consider timeframes and constraints that may impact grant activities due to COVID-19.

If COVID-19 has impacted your ability to meet the obligations of your grant agreement, to discuss your circumstances and how we can assist you, you should contact:

You can find further COVID-19 government financial assistance and support for Australian businesses on our coronavirus information and support for business page.

We assess your application against the eligibility criteria and then against the assessment criteria. Only eligible applications will proceed to the assessment stage.

The amount of detail and supporting evidence you provide in your application should be relative to the project size, complexity and grant amount requested. You should define, quantify and provide evidence to support your answers. The sample application form displays character limits.

We will establish a committee of Australian Government departmental representatives to assess applications. The committee may seek advice from independent technical experts.

The committee will assess your application against the assessment criteria and compare it to other eligible applications before recommending which projects to fund.

The Deputy Executive Director of the National Careers Institute will make the final decision.

We will assess your application based on the weighting given to each criteria.

  • Assessment criterion 1: The extent that your partnership project will deliver an innovative locally based approach to help people develop careers that can adapt to the workforce of today and the future (45 points)
  • Assessment criterion 2: Capacity, capability and resources to deliver the project (35 points)
  • Assessment criterion 3: Impact of grant funding on your project (20 points)

If your application is successful, you’ll receive a written offer. If you are unsuccessful, we’ll notify you in writing.

Successful applicants must enter into a grant agreement with the Commonwealth. The grant agreement will specify the reporting requirements, payment schedule and milestones necessary to receive payments.

We’ll make the first payment when the grant agreement is executed. We’ll make subsequent payments after we have received and accepted the required report.


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Key documents

Grant opportunity guidelines

pdf · 0.24 MB docx · 0.18 MB

Sample grant agreement

pdf · 0.47 MB docx · 0.15 MB

Sample application form

pdf · 0.31 MB docx · 0.16 MB

Sample Board or CEO approval letter

pdf · 0.01 MB docx · 0.04 MB

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