Skills First for private providers

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

VET funding contract offers for 2018-19 have been made. See: apply for a VET funding contract

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 courses list is regularly reviewed, and courses added as required by industry needs.

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.

Industry sectors such as these have been factored into:

  • subsidy setting and,
  • increasing subsidy rates for apprenticeships

to build skills for the Government’s policy and infrastructure priorities, such as:

  • 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.

Skills First funded contracts with training providers include:

  • 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.

Fact sheets

Get advice

For information on how Skills First will benefit private providers, email: