1.1.N.12 National Training Wage schedule rate (YA, DSP)


For the purposes of YA and DSP, the Wage Level A of the National Training Wage schedule included in a modern award (NTWS), or the rate as varied or replaced by Fair Work Australia, is a rate used to measure whether a young person can be classified as being self-supporting through paid employment ( If the young person has earned at least 75% of the rate in any 18 month period since last leaving school, then, in certain circumstances, they can be considered independent for YA and DSP purposes.

The young person can only be considered independent under this provision if they have earned 75% of the maximum award payable at Wage Level A of the NTWS included in a modern award or that maximum rate as varied or replaced by Fair Work Australia, and the 18 months since last leaving secondary school has elapsed.

This provision applies only to:

  • young people who qualified for YA as an independent person prior to 1 July 2010 if they have supported themselves through paid work consisting of employment within an 18 month period, or
  • YA students who finished secondary studies in 2008, did not study full-time in 2009, commenced higher education studies in 2010 and qualify for independence under the transitional arrangements for gap year students ( on or before 31 December 2010, or
  • inner regional (from 1 January 2012), outer regional, remote and very remote students (from 1 January 2011) who are required to live away from home to undertake full-time study if their parental income is less than $150,000 for the appropriate tax year, or
  • DSP claimants/recipients aged under 21 without dependent children.

The appropriate version of the NTWS or the rate as varied or replaced by Fair Work Australia to use is based on when the young person first commenced their employment.

Example: Kate left school in November 2015 and commenced working on 10 February 2016. She is from an inner regional area and her parents earn less than $150,000. She moves away from home to study at university in 2017. She applies for YA in June 2017 in which time she has earned $25,565 from her casual job. The appropriate NTWS to use is $31,305 (75% = $23,479) as Kate commenced employment between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2016. As Kate has left school over 18 months ago and has earned 75% of the relevant NTWS rate in an 18 month period, she can be considered to be independent under the self-supporting criteria.


The following table lists the relevant NTWS rates over recent years, and the minimum amounts that young people must earn to qualify as independent under the self-supporting provisions.

If period/s of employment commenced from The relevant NTWS rate is 75% of rate which equals minimum earnings
1 July 2017 to present date $33,114 $24,836
1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017 $32,056 $24,042
1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016 $31,305 $23,479
1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015 $30,544 $22,908
1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014 $29,652 $22,239
1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013 $28,824 $21,618
1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012 $28,012 $21,009
1 October 2008 to 30 June 2011 $26,043 $19,532

Act reference: SSAct section 1067A(10) to (10J) People who are self-supporting

Policy reference: SS Guide YA & DSP - Self-supporting through Paid Employment, Historical National Training Wage Schedule Rates (YA, DSP)

Last reviewed: 14 August 2017