VET Expansion Planned

The recently released annual national report of the Australian VET system revealed there were 1.8 million VET students in 2010-that’s an increase of 5.4 per cent on the previous year under the Government’s $11.1 billion investment in vocational education and training scheme. Between 2007 and 2009, the report shows the number of VET students completing their qualifications increased by 23 per cent from 321,000 to 394,000.

In addition to the $1.4 billion already provided to the states and territories each year, the Commonwealth Government has committed $1.75 billion over five years to overhaul the national training system.

Under the proposal which will go to the Council of Australian Government’s meeting next month:

  • all Australians will have access to a government subsidised training place up to their first Certificate III, and
  • interest-free loans will be available to all students studying publically-subsidised diplomas and advanced diplomas at approved VET providers, enabling up to 60,000 students per year to defer the upfront cost of tuition.

The proposed reforms build on the $3 billion Building Australia’s Future Workforce skills package announced in the last Budget including the new $558 million Workforce Development Fund.  (The National Workforce Development Fund is an industry-led training model designed to train up new and existing workers to meet the skills needs of businesses across the country.)

National Science Week

National Science Week will engage communities across Australia between 11-19 August 2012 and will be officially opened today by the Minister for Innovation, Senator Kim Carr. Through the Australian Government’s Inspiring Australia initiative, $500,000 in grants of between $2,000 and $25,000 will be available for individual one-year projects. If you have a great idea, you could be part of it.  For more details go to or contact us at Pattens.

Research Infrastructure Grant Round 2

The role of the Education Investment Fund (EIF) is to build a modern, productive, internationally competitive economy by supporting world-leading, strategically focused infrastructure investment. It has invested more than $1.6 billion into research infrastructure projects since 2008. The recent funding of a $17.5 million for the Centre at University of Melbourne under round 2 of the EIF will bring together scientists and researchers who are leaders in their fields including a better understanding of the human brain and diseases of the central nervous system is closer thanks to the new Centre for Neural Engineering at the University of Melbourne. The Centre will put Australia in the box seat for developing new brain-machine interfaces that can do anything from helping quadriplegics use computer systems to enhancing computer games and entertainment.

It is designed to encourage our finest researchers to delve into advanced scientific modeling, complex data processing, and the development of autonomous systems  There is great potential for the work of this centre to inspire and improve the lives of all Australians – indeed, its reach will be truly global.

The Centre’s director Professor Stan Skafidas has a brilliant international reputation for his work in the development of microelectronics, wireless communication and other communication systems.

Grant Application Mistakes

By avoiding common mistakes you can increase your chances of obtaining a grant.

  • Do your research.
  • Initiate contact with department prior to preparation of application.
  • Develop relationship with Case Manager.
  • Provide the information they request.
  • Be specific, generalisations are meaningless.
  • Make your application stand out.
  • Do not be conservative with your estimates.
  • Check your grammar and spelling.
  • Be concise.
  • Do not assume they know your technology, business or industry.
  • Provide pictures, diagrams or schematics when appropriate.
  • Have your application reviewed independently.
  • Detail the benefits the grant could provide to Australia.
  • Utilise the services of a professional grants expert.

Grant Writing Expertise

Obtaining grants is a highly specialised field, and there are many stages to writing a grant proposal, such as identifying the need, designing the project, determining the grant opportunities, writing the grant applications and administering funds received. To further complicate things, the processes for pursuing federal, state, and private funds are very different.

Many businesses that desperately need financial support miss opportunities for funding for two reasons:

  1. They don’t have the knowledge or resources to successfully pursue and win a grant or
  2. they are ignorant of the range of possibilities in private, federal, or state-sourced funds available to them.

With businesses still suffering the impact of poor economic conditions, successful grant applications is now a more relevant than ever before.

Pattens Group can provide a multitude of benefits, including successfully pursuing grant money, saving the cost of full-time grant writers and seeking new options and techniques to obtain operational and expansion funding.  We can also secure equity funding, and IPO or a business loan of over A$100m.

Our fee for grant applications is nothing unless we are successful.  No grant, no fee.

Call us to discuss how we can assist your business on 1800 PATTENS.