Free TAFE for Priority Courses available at Swinburne 

Students eligible for Victorian Government-subsidised training can access the Free TAFE for Priority Courses initiative to have their tuition fees covered when they study one of the following courses at Swinburne:

Non-apprenticeship courses

Eligibility for Free TAFE for Priority Courses 

If you’re eligible, the Free TAFE for Priority Courses initiative will cover the tuition fees for the duration of your course. You’ll still need to pay for other fees, such as graduation fees and materials fees. 

Any Australian citizen, permanent resident or New Zealand citizen is eligible to do Free TAFE for Priority Courses in Victoria if they meet the following criteria: 

Under 20 or upskilling 

  • are aged under 20 (regardless of any other qualifications they might hold); or 
  • are 20 or older and enrolling in a course that is a higher qualification than the highest qualification previously attained. 


Victorians who need additional support 

Victorians who are: 

  • unemployed and clients of the Jobs Victoria Employment Network; 
  • retrenched workers; or 
  • automotive supply chain workers

Looking to change careers 

Victorians who want to reskill, change careers, improve their employment prospects and/or meet the needs of local industries, subject to availability of TAFE places and prioritised based on need. 

Further information 

For more information about fees visit our fees page.

Eligible students can access this initiative only once, even if you do not complete your priority course, so you need to consider your training choice carefully.

Thinking of doing TAFE next year?

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Frequently asked questions

Free TAFE for Priority Courses is a Victorian Government program that will pay your tuition fees to study in selected courses at TAFE, if you’re eligible.

Victorian Government-subsidised training is when the government pays a large portion of the cost of your training if you are eligible, and you make a contribution by paying fees.

If you are eligible for a government subsidy (Skills First), then the government will also pay your tuition fees for the Free TAFE for Priority Courses. It starts 1 January 2019.

Any Australian citizen, permanent resident or New Zealand citizen is eligible to do Free TAFE for Priority Courses in Victoria if they meet the following criteria:

  • Victorians who are aged under 20 (regardless of any other qualifications they might hold) or are 20 or older and enrolling in a course that is a higher qualification than the highest qualification previously attained
  • Victorians who are unemployed and clients of the Jobs Victoria Employment Network, retrenched workers or automotive supply chain workers
  • Victorians who want to reskill, change careers, improve their employment prospects and/or meet the needs of local industries, subject to availability of TAFE places, and prioritised based on need.

Eligible students can access this initiative only once, even if you do not complete your priority course, so you need to consider your training choice carefully.

Asylum Seekers who are eligible under Skills First might also be eligible to apply for this program.

Visit our fees page for more information, or talk to us if you are unsure.

If you are eligible, Free TAFE for Priority Courses pays the tuition fees for your whole course.  

You’ll still need to pay for textbooks if there are any and other miscellaneous fees, such as graduation fees and materials fees.

Free TAFE for Priority Courses started on 1 January 2019.

Swinburne is now taking applications for Free TAFE for Priority Courses that commence in 2020.

Free TAFE for Priority Courses will pay your tuition fees for one course. 

Once you have enrolled in a Free TAFE course, you can’t get a Free TAFE place again, even if you don’t finish your first course. 

You need to make a careful choice about which course you undertake, so talk to us if you are unsure.

Only the courses on the Free TAFE course list will have their tuition fees covered by the initiative, but there are other courses you can do at Swinburne where you may be eligible for subsidised fees. The VET Student Loan program allows those eligible for subsidy and studying some courses to secure a loan to cover the cost tuition fees. While some tuition fees may apply for Victorian Government-subsidised training, you may be eligible for a concession.  

Visit our fees page to find out more about eligibility.  

In addition, the VET Student Loan program allows those eligible who are studying relevant courses to secure a loan to cover the upfront cost of tuition fees. 

The Free TAFE courses are in areas where there are likely to be more jobs in the future. 

Yes, the same conditions will apply. You will need be physically present in Victoria while completing your studies.

This would be counted as continuing your original enrolment, not a new commencement in 2020, so you would not be eligible for Free TAFE.

You may still be eligible. We recommend talking to our staff to discuss your options.

Please contact us so we can give you advice based on your scenario.

If you are currently training and are happy with your course, you should complete it, especially if you have a Victorian government-subsidised place. There are limits on the number of times you can commence courses and stay eligible for subsidised training, so withdrawing and restarting could mean you become ineligible. 

If you’ve already enrolled in 2019 into a course on the 2020 Free TAFE list, you can withdraw and re-enrol into the same course, however the fee waiver will only apply to the unfinished portion of your course.  

Remember, you can only access a Free TAFE place for one priority course, even if you don't finish it, so it's important to make a careful choice. 

We strongly recommend talking to our staff first before withdrawing. Visit us at studentHQ so we can give you advice based on your situation.

No. Free TAFE for Priority Courses only applies to eligible students who enrol in a priority course that commenced after 1 January 2019. 

If you are currently doing training and you are happy with your course, you should complete it, especially if you have a Victorian Government subsidised place. There are limits on the number of times you can commence courses and stay eligible for subsidised training, so withdrawing and restarting could mean you become ineligible.

If you are thinking of withdrawing for any reason, talk to our staff at Student HQ, or visit the Swinburne Hub.

Yes. The fee waiver for a Free TAFE course lasts the duration of your course, regardless of its length or the time it takes to complete.  

If you're enrolled into a course and come back from authorised leave of absence in 2020, this would be counted as continuing your original enrolment and not a new commencement in 2020.

This means you would not be eligible for Free TAFE. 

Courses undertaken as Free TAFE for Priority Courses are treated the same way as any other course you have undertaken, for the purpose of determining whether you are eligible for further Victorian Government-subsidised training. 

Talk to us about whether you will have future Victorian Government-subsidised training options.

Contact the Training and TAFE line on 131 823 or visit the Victorian Government site

Want to speak to us?

We’re here to help. Book a one-on-one consultation with an adviser to help you understand your options.

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