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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Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for Victorian and Commonwealth government-subsidised training, you need to be either an Australian citizen, a New Zealand citizen or holder of a Permanent Visa, and:

  • have a physical presence in Victoria while undertaking the course, and
  • not be attending school or registered for home schooling at the time of the course (excluding a School Based Apprentice/Trainee), and
  • have not commenced or be scheduled to commence more than two Skills First subsidised courses and two Skills First subsidised skill sets in a year, and
  • not be undertaking more than two Skills First subsidised programs – either courses or skill sets – at any one time, and
  • not be undertaking a Foundation level course if a diploma or higher qualification is held or are participating in the Commonwealth Government's 'Skills for Education and Employment' program

Please note: some exceptions apply for referred asylum seekers and victims of human trafficking.

Additional eligibility requirements for Apprentices and Trainees

If you are wanting to study as an apprentice or trainee, to be eligible for Skills First subsidised training you must be:

  1. employed in Victoria in either a full time or part time capacity under an award or registered agreement;
  2. undertaking an Approved Training Scheme; and
  3. a signatory to a Training Contract with their employer that is registered with the VRQA

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

In a calendar year, you may only commence a maximum of two:

  1. Skills First subsidised Skill Sets; and
  2. Skills First subsidised programs that are AQF qualifications.

You may only commence a maximum of two Skills First subsidised programs at any one time.

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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