Skills First

Skills First is a strong, stable, high quality training system that gives all Victorians the opportunity to develop the skills they need – and the skills employers want – for jobs today and tomorrow.
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Am I eligible for a government subsidised training place?

Generally, you are eligible for a government subsidised training place if you are:

  • an Australian citizen
  • an Australian Permanent Resident (holder of a permanent visa)*
  • a New Zealand citizen

And are any of the following:

  • under 20 years of age
  • seeking to enrol in a Foundation Skills List course (and do not hold a diploma or above qualification or are receiving core skills training in other sectors)
  • seeking to enrol in VCE or VCAL
  • seeking to enrol in an apprenticeship
  • 20 years and older and ‘up-skilling’ by seeking to enrol in a course at a higher level than your existing qualification.

If you are enrolled at a school, you will not be able to receive a government-subsidised training place for a course through Skills First unless you are undertaking the course as part of a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship. The Government supports schools in other ways to offer vocational training to their students.

*If you are an asylum seeker (confirmed by the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre) or a victim of human trafficking (confirmed by the Australian Red Cross), the citizenship/ residency eligibility requirements may be waived.

How many courses am I eligible to claim Skills First for?

You are eligible to commence a maximum of two subsidised courses at the same qualification level in your lifetime. This restriction applies whether or not you complete the courses. For example, this means if you have already commenced two courses at the Certificate III level, you may only commence courses at a Certificate II or IV level if you did not complete a Certificate III course.

This restriction does not apply to courses on the Foundation Skills List or to students recommencing training in the same qualification (at the same or a different provider).

In addition, eligible students can begin up to two subsidised courses in a year as long as you are not doing any more than two courses at a time. 

Eligibility for apprentices

If you are seeking to enrol in an apprenticeship (not a traineeship) and you have already commenced two courses in that same year, you will be eligible for government subsidised training under Skills First if either of the two courses you previously commenced are included on the Higher Education and Skills Pre-Apprenticeship and Pathway qualifications list, for more information on this please see an Education Pathways Officer.

What if I want to study and I don’t meet the eligibility criteria?

You can still study any course of your choosing if a place is offered, but you may not be able to access a government-subsidised place.

What we require to determine your eligibility

The following documents are required to determine your eligibility for Skills First funding (one document from Part A, and one document from Part B):

Part A

  • Australian birth certificate (Not birth extract) or commemorative birth certificate 
  • Current Australian passport
  • Current New Zealand passport
  • A current GREEN Medicare card
  • Naturalisation certificate
  • Formal documentation issued by the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection confirming permanent residence

Part B

  • Current drivers licence
  • Current learner permit
  • Keypass card
  • Proof of age card

Please note we will need to sight and retain a copy of the original at the time of enrolment or have an original certified copy provided to the enrolling officer.

Failure to provide eligibility documentation

If this documentation is not provided at the time of enrolment to prove your eligibility under Skills First, you will be unable to enrol or commence in the government-subsidised program. You can elect to undertake your enrolment as a full fee paying student.

As part of your enrolment, you will be asked a series of questions relating to the above and you will be asked to provide relevant evidence to support your responses. You will also be required to complete a declaration attesting to the accuracy of your responses. If you are not eligible for a government subsidised place, your tuition fee is set by South West TAFE and is calculated on the student contact hours you wish to enrol in.

Eligibility requirements are subject to change without notice and in accordance with Government policy. Please contact our Customer Service Centre to confirm your eligibility for a government-subsidised training place.

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