How is an MTS Apprenticeship funded?

MTS provides apprenticeship pathways that can be supported by a variety of funding methods which include;

  • Scholarship Apprenticeships
  • Curriculum Apprenticeships
  • FWA (Fair Work Australia) Apprenticeships

A financial summary (and comparison) of all the MTS Apprentice Pathways is provided in the  “MTS Pathways – How the numbers work” spreadsheet  |  MTS PATHWAYS – HOW THE NUMBERS WORK

Scholarship Apprenticeships

An MTS Scholarship is an academic scholarship, awarded “on merit”, to enable the recipient to undertake a government endorsed course of study.  Team Leader apprentices will generally enrol in the Timothy Partnership ASTC (Academic Studies in Theology Certificate) course, while Team Member apprentices will usually enrol in a Diploma (or Adv Diploma) of Theology or Ministry.

Support for an apprentice’s scholarship can be raised by tax deductible donations from the sponsoring church’s community, as well as the apprentice’s own personal network of supporters.  MTS applies a 15% Management and Support Fee to all scholarship donations received, with all remaining monies flowing through to benefit apprentices training with the sponsoring church or ministry.   Donors are encouraged to express a preference for who they wish their donation to support, and MTS will pay high regard to the preference expressed by donors.

What does my MTS Management & Support Fee pay for? More Information

Tax deductibility is a significant benefit when seeking to raise support for scholarship apprentices.  An example is provided below to illustrate this benefit:

  • A $10,000 non-tax deductible donation results in the donor being out-of-pocket $10,000.
  • A $10,000 tax deductible donation results in the donor being out-of-pocket only $6,600 as the donor will receive a $3,400 reduction in his/her tax payment to the ATO (assumes a modest marginal tax rate of 32% plus the 2% medicare levy).
  • A donor happy to be out-of-pocket by $10,000 in support of a scholarship apprentice, could donate $15,152 tax deductibly and this donation would only cost the donor $10,000 after the $5,152 reduction in their tax payment to the ATO is received.

For donors paying a marginal tax rate higher than 32%, the benefit of donating tax deductibly is commensurately larger.

The employment status of the apprentice in the church or ministry is that of a student placement in a workplace – that is, a volunteer.   They are not an employee of the church or ministry, or of MTS.

As all scholarship are partly funded by the government due to the tax deductibility of donations, all scholarship recipients must be either an Australian citizen or have been granted permanent Australian Residency status.

Curriculum Apprenticeships

Churches and ministries can also choose to employ an apprentice – that is, the apprentice is included on the organisation’s payroll. The church or ministry must also pay Workers Compensation premiums and make employer Superannuation Contributions for the employed apprentice.

Curriculum apprentices must be assigned an endorsed trainer by their church or ministry and registered as an apprentice with MTS.   Registration provides the following benefits:

  • Apprentice and their trainer are invited to attend the MTS Leader training days
  • Apprentice and their trainer are invited to attend the annual national G8 MTS Apprentice conference
  • Training in accordance with the MTS Curriculum
  • The church or ministry can legally pay the apprentice a “training wage” equivalent to 0.7 x the National Minimum Wage

What does my MTS Registration Fee pay for? More information

While MTS requires that the apprentice be trained in accordance with the MTS Curriculum (ensures the apprentice receives a rounded ministry training experience), there is no requirement by MTS for a Curriculum Apprentice to undertake formal theological training, though they may do so if they choose.

FWA (Fair Work Australia) Apprenticeships

Some Churches and ministries choose not to register their Curriculum Apprentice with MTS.  Ministry apprentices not registered with MTS need to be paid the minimum wage (or more), with Workers Compensation premiums and employer Superannuation Contributions also needing to be paid for their apprentice.

MTS exercises no oversight of FWA apprenticeships, nor is there any expectation of any informal interaction or dialogue between the church employing an FWA apprentice and MTS, or an FWA Trainer and their Apprentice with MTS.

Centrelink benefits

Centrelink provides a range of benefits designed to support students – Austudy, Youth Allowance, Housing Assistance, etc.  Apprentices undertaking a government endorsed course of study may apply for Centrelink benefits.  Please note that enrolling in a government endorsed course doesn’t automatically entitle the student to Centrelink benefits – they must also personally qualify under Centrelink’s guidelines if the apprentice is to receive Centrelink benefits.

Many students in Australia receive Centrelink student benefits, and it is an important source of financial support for many Scholarship apprentices.   Curriculum apprentices enrolled in an endorsed course of study are also eligible to apply for Centrelink benefits.