Training Benchmark for Subclass 457 Sponsorship

Employers looking to sponsor an employee under the subclass 457 visa programme are required to meet a range of criteria prior to gaining approval as a Standard Business Sponsor.

A requirement that is commonly questioned is the ‘training benchmarks’ that sponsors must be able to meet. In this article Ethos Migration will outline and explain the two training benchmarks that are available for employers to meet prior to being able to sponsor an employee under the 457 visa programme.

Training Benchmarks

Regulation 2.59 of the Migration Regulations 1994 states that if the business is a lawfully operating business in Australia and has traded for 12 months or more the applicant must meet the one of the two training benchmarks as specified by an instrument in writing.

Businesses Trading For Less Than 12 Months

If a business has been trading for less than 12 months at the time the application is decided and cannot satisfy neither training benchmark A or B are able to provide an ‘auditable training plan’ to their application which clearly outlines how the business intends on meeting one of the training benchmarks within the next year. The ‘auditable training plan’ must be clear and articulate in detail the businesses intention to meet the training benchmarks.

Training Benchmark A

To meet training benchmark A employers must provide evidence of:

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 employers business.

What are industry training funds?

An industry training fund is a programme that is set out by the Australian government that provides funding for the training of employees to further develop their skills according to the industry and occupations in demand.

Training Benchmark B

To meet Training Benchmark B employers must provide evidence of:

The equivalent of at least 1 percent or more of recent payroll expenditure (in the last 12 months) on training their employees who are Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents.

What is considered as training for the purposes of meeting Training Benchmark B?

If an employer is looking to meet Training Benchmark B, they can account for any training that is formal, structured and directed at employees that are Australian citizens and/or Australian permanent residents. Examples of training that can be included are:

  • On the job training, if it is structured with a time frame, involves individual steps and is undertaken by qualified trainers where employee training is monitored and developed.
  • Trainees & Apprentices, if an employer has taken on an apprentice or trainee, the full salary paid to the employee can be calculated to contribute (and in most cases meet) the training benchmark.
  • Using independent training providers, if an employer hires or contracts an external provider to implement and conduct formal training to their employees this can contribute to the training benchmark.

Professional Assistance

Meeting the training benchmarks can sometimes be a complex and ambiguous process for employers as each type of training can be classified in different ways.

If you require any assistance or advice regarding the training benchmarks, standard business sponsorship or the 457 visa programme please contact us via email at or by calling 1300 083 843.

Return to Top 1300083843