Skills First is for all students – whether you’re an apprentice, a worker seeking retraining, a learner who needs extra support or a regional student looking for course options in your local area. Skills First is for you.
The Andrews Labor Government believes that regardless of age, background or postcode, all Victorians should have the opportunity to train for a brighter future.
From January 2017, Skills First will give students of all ages, high quality training with skills employers are looking for. We want your training to lead to a job, not just a certificate.
Under Skills First there will be:
- more support for apprentices and trainees
- more options for older workers to retrain and upskill as our economy changes
- fewer dodgy operators thanks to the Government's crackdown
- better support for disadvantaged students.
Checking your eligibility
The best place to start when you want to commence training is to find out if you are eligible for a government-subsidised training place. You will also want to research and choose the training provider that is going to meet your training needs.
Not all training providers provide government-subsidised training places, some charge full fee for service rates. Some courses are only offered as full fee for service. To search for the most up-to-date list of Victorian training providers and courses or get more information about occupations or get an indication of your eligibility, see:
- Or grab a copy of the Training and TAFE Course Guide at your school, library, or the Skills and Jobs Centres and community hubs.
Finding the right course
Before we redesigned the training and TAFE system we surveyed thousands of students, like you. We are determined to make it easier for students to find the information they need to help them find the right courses that lead to real jobs.
To get support you can:
Visit a Skills and Jobs Centre (one-stop-shop for students)
Skills and Jobs Centres are located at our TAFE campuses. Our Skills and Jobs Centres are the first port-of-call for students looking to start training, or workers needing to re-skill or retrain.
Drop into our Skills and Jobs Centres and access:
- apprenticeship and traineeship advice
- job search skills and resumé preparation assistance
- help with career and training plans.
For information on locations, see:
Supporting disadvantaged students
Skills First is designed to address disadvantage and promote equity. Sometimes people need extra support and assistance to get back on the road to success. Young people in particular may need a helping hand to ensure positive outcomes.
The Reconnect grants program is already helping TAFEs and Learn Locals provide support for young, disengaged school leavers aged 15-24 years.
What help is on offer for students?
- help to enrol in and complete an accredited training program and a supervised work experience placement
- access a range of links to other specialist support services such as health, accommodation, and personal and relationship supports.
In 2017, the Government is committing an additional $20 million in funding to expand the Reconnect program to help support more students into training.
All students who started government-subsidised training prior to 2017 will be able to continue their subsidised course until they complete it, even if it is not on the new funded course list.
From 1 January 2017, students who want to start a course that is not on the funded course list still can, but no Victorian Government subsidy will be available. Training providers can advise the fees they will charge for full-fee courses.
What you need to know about fees
Fees for training vary between training providers and will depend on the course you want to study and whether you are eligible for a government-subsidised place. If you are eligible, some of the cost of the course is covered by the government and the rest is paid by the student. If you are enrolling in a full fee paying course, your fees may be higher.
You can choose to study at a TAFE, a university offering vocational training, a Learn Local or a private training provider.
But before you enrol in a course, you can expect the training provider to give you information on:
- what you will have to pay, itemised as a list
- any concessions that may apply and what evidence you need to receive a concession
- any conditions that may apply to refunds.
You should shop around to find a course and price that is right for you.
Depending on your circumstances you may be eligible for a concession - which will reduce any fees you may need to pay.
Concessions on tuition fees are available for government-subsidised training in all courses below Diploma level and for training at any level, including at Diploma level and above for Indigenous students.
Students undertaking training at the Diploma level and above may also be able to access financial assistance in the form of a loan, so you will have to pay fees until you are employed and earning a certain level of income.
Talk to your training provider to see if you are eligible for a concession.
For information on how Skills First will benefit students, see:
Providing feedback on your experience
The Victorian Student Satisfaction Survey collects information from all Victorian students who completed or left the training and TAFE system in the previous calendar year.
For information on the Victorian Student Satisfaction Survey, see:
If you would like to provide additional feedback about your training, training provider or to make a complaint, please contact the Training and TAFE line:
For more information, see: