PRAC Payment support announced for student Nurses, Teachers, and Social Workers, but funding not available until July next year

The payment will be means-tested and is in addition to any other income support students may receive.

The Albanese Government has announced the introduction of the Commonwealth Prac Payment, a new financial support initiative for students in Australia.

Starting July 1, 2025, this payment aims to assist students who are required to complete mandatory workplace placements as part of their university or vocational education in fields such as teaching, nursing, midwifery, and social work.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese emphasised the government’s commitment to supporting students entering critical care fields, stating, “We’re proud to be backing the hard work and aspiration of Australians looking to better themselves by studying at university.

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“We’re funding support for placements so our future nurses, teachers, and social workers can gain the experience they need.”

“And we’re expanding access to university in our regions and suburbs to make sure no Australian is left behind,”

PM Albanese added.
Image: PM Anthony Albanese (Source: X @AlboMP)

Approximately 68,000 higher education students and over 5,000 vocational education and training (VET) students will benefit annually from the Prac Payment, which offers $319.50 per week during their placement periods. This rate is aligned with the single Austudy weekly rate and is designed to alleviate cost-of-living pressures for students.

The payment will be means-tested and is in addition to any other income support students may receive.

Education Minister Jason Clare highlighted the practical benefits of the initiative, noting, “Some students say prac means they have to give up their part-time job, and that they don’t have the money to pay the bills.”

Australia's Minister for Education Jason Clare (Source: Twitter)
Australia’s Minister for Education Jason Clare (Source: Twitter)

“Placement poverty is a real thing… This will give people who have signed up to do some of the most important jobs in this country a bit of extra help to get the qualifications they need.”

The Prac Payment also aligns with the government’s gender equality strategy, particularly supporting the predominantly female workforce in the care and teaching sectors.

With the majority of students and workers in these critical care fields being women, the payment also helps implement the Government’s gender equality strategy, Working for Women. The payment will also help support the pipeline of social workers available to support those affected by family, domestic and sexual violence.

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Skills and Training Minister Brendan O’Connor discussed the additional benefits, “This Prac payment is in addition to the Government’s investment in Fee-Free TAFE which is supporting thousands to gain Division 2 nursing qualifications and helping to address skills shortages in aged and health care. 

“This is an additional payment to support nursing TAFE students who have extra costs such as uniforms, travel, temporary accommodation or child care, during mandatory clinical placements.

This policy is part of broader reforms under the Albanese Government, responding to the Universities Accord and enhancing the HELP system to make higher education more accessible and equitable across Australia.

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