For Private Providers

Through Skills First, quality training providers can successfully compete to meet the needs of students, industry and the economy.

The days of low quality training providers are over. Private providers will be able to focus their business plans on delivering great training. Skills First will ensure quality providers can successfully compete to meet the needs of students, industry and the economy.

A focus on industry and government priorities

What we have changed is the funded course list, to ensure it focuses on current and future workforce industry skills. Previously, the Victorian Government funded about 1500 unique courses, with any course that was nationally accredited available for subsidised training under the Victorian Training Guarantee. Extensive industry consultation found that a significant number of courses did not meet industry or community needs so the funded course list has been reduced.

Courses included on the funded course list will:

  • Better align with industry needs and workforce demands.
  • Represent Government priorities, including rolling out the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), responding to family violence, and completing Victoria’s infrastructure projects. 
  • Have a strong jobs outcome, such as apprenticeships.
  • Meet other social needs, such as foundation skill courses.

The funded course list is regularly reviewed, and courses added as required by industry needs. For a current list of funded courses, see: the Funded Courses List.

Subsidy rates explained

Skills First has introduced higher subsidies for areas of Government priority, including:

  • apprenticeship and apprenticeship pathways
  • high-value traineeships
  • courses related to the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme
  • the response to the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

Priority industry sectors such as these have been factored in to subsidy setting, and increasing subsidy rates for apprenticeships aims.  to build skills for the Government’s policy and infrastructure priorities, such as the Melbourne Metro Tunnel and the Level Crossing Removal project.

Subsidies were not reduced for any courses for 2017 and will not be reduced for any courses for 2018. The new subsidies will apply both to students who are continuing their studies from previous years and to those who commence in 2018.

Eligibility and fees

Under Skills First, subsidised training continues to be available to eligible students and there have been no changes to the existing eligibility criteria.

Training providers are able to set fees at a level that they believe the quality, cost and reputation of their training warrants, without restriction.

A commitment to high quality training

Under Skills First, new quality measures have been introduced, including:

  • a quality assessment for training providers.
  • rigorous new funding contracts for all training providers that better guarantee value for money in taxpayer funded training.

In 2017 Skills First funded contracts with training providers included:

  • penalties that can be applied to providers who fail to properly assess every student's suitability for their course.
  • the ability to publish results of student and employer satisfaction surveys.
  • new requirements to improve the quality of online and workplace-based training.
  • requirements that all training providers using brokers, disclose brokering arrangements on their websites.

Skills First Provider Selection Process

The Skills First 2018-19 VET Funding Contract offers have been made to training providers to deliver Victorian Government funded training under Skills First.

The successful training providers have been selected for Contract offer following a rigorous and fair selection process where providers were evaluated against published evaluation criteria.

Training providers were required to have a demonstrated record of quality training delivery, together with 2018 Program Delivery Plans aligned with industry needs and the priorities of government.

Whilst Skills First 2017 VET Funding Contracts were only for one year, the new Contracts offered to successful applicants are of two years duration, covering 2018 and 2019 calendar years.

Registered training providers who have not been awarded a Skills First 2018-19 VET Funding Contract can still offer fee for service training in Victoria, or find other sources of funding. A Victorian Government-funded training contract is just one source of funding for Training Providers.

Students who currently study with a training provider that received government funding in 2016 and/or 2017, but has not been awarded a 2018-19 contract, can continue to train with their existing provider until they have finished their qualification.

For information outlining the Skills First 2018-19 application and allocation process, see: Skills First 2018-19 Provider Selection Process Fact Sheet.

For more information on the Provider Selection Process for Skills First 2018-19 Funding Contracts, see the: Applying for a VET Funding Contract page on the Department's website.

For information on how Skills First will benefit private providers, see: Skills First For Private Providers Fact Sheet, Skills First Resources or contact us at