The vocational education sector has welcomed a $2 million funding commitment included in the ACT government's first coronavirus stimulus package.
However, there is uncertainty as to how far the funding will go in reversing cuts made earlier this year, which the local industry feared could force training providers to shut their doors.
The warnings came before the first measures to slow the spread of coronavirus were introduced, sending the national economy into crisis.
The ACT government's initial suite of measures to support the territory through the severe economic downturn, announced late last week, included $2 million for the vocational education and training sector.
According to the government, the funding would restore the value of subsidies provided for qualifications through the Skilled Capital and User Choice programs back to 2019 levels.
The government earlier this year slashed the level of taxpayer support for dozens of qualifications for 2020, with student subsidies either significantly reduced or axed entirely.
It has argued the changes were necessary to bring funding back to a "sustainable" level, after high demand for certain courses caused it to blow its overall budget for subsidies.
Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia, which represents private training providers, was the first peak body to sound the alarm about the cuts and the harm they could cause to Canberra's economy.
The peak body said on Wednesday that the $2 million announced last week effectively reinstated the funding that was cut in January.
"We welcomes this step without reserve," chief executive Troy Williams said.
"From the outset we were critical of the cuts and the impact that they would have on students and existing workers looking to gain the training and skills for the next stage in their working career.
"Training providers were doing it tough in the wake of the cuts, and then came along the economic impact of the response to the COVID-19 virus outbreak.
"Many providers are being pushed to the brink. This decision to restore funding to deliver skills across the territory is timely."
Association of Providers of Training Services spokesman Mark Field, who was also highly critical of January's cuts, said the funding announcement was "very much welcome".
Mr Field said it was unclear exactly where the money would go, but warned $2 million was "nowhere near enough" to make up for the amount that was stripped from the sector earlier this year.
While the government has said it would return subsidies back to 2019 levels, it is not clear if that meant funding would be reinstated for qualifications which had lost all taxpayer support.
As part of January's changes, the number of qualifications subsidised through the Skilled Capital program was slashed from 107 to 40.
The Canberra Times contacted the office of Chris Steel, who has stepped up to cover the tertiary education portfolio to allow Chief Minister Andrew Barr to focus on the coronavirus response.
It could not provide further information about the funding commitment, but indicated that further details would be announced in the coming days.
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