Eligibility criteria for government-subsidised training 

To be eligible for a government-subsidised place, you must meet various eligibility criteria and the course you’ve applied for must also be offering government-subsidised places. Swinburne will determine your eligibility by conducting a full assessment of your eligibility during the course application process.

General eligibility requirements

Citizenship/permanent residence requirements

You must:

  1. be physically present in the state of Victoria at all times at which you are undertaking the training and assessment; and
  2. be an Australian citizen or holder of a permanent visa, or a New Zealand Citizen (visa 444).


Impact of age on eligibility

If you are under 20 years of age (as at 1 January in the year of commencement of training) you are eligible to enrol in any Skills First subsidised training.

If you are 20 years of age or older (as at 1 January in the year of commencement of training) you are eligible to enrol in Skills First subsidised training:

  • in a program that is at a higher AQF level than the highest qualification held at the time of the scheduled commencement of training
  • in a program on the Foundation Skills List (unless you hold a qualification by an Australian VET or higher education provider that is at AQF level 5 (= Diploma)
  • as an apprentice (not Trainee) under an Approved Training Scheme;
  • in the VCE or the VCAL (Intermediate or Senior).


Please note this exception:

  • Higher qualifications obtained overseas that have not been formally assessed for Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) equivalency are not included in this prior education criteria.


In addition to meeting the eligibility requirements highlighted above a Skills First Student can only:

  • commence a maximum of two Skills First subsidised programs in a calendar year (the ‘2 in a year’ limit)
  • undertake a maximum of two Skills First subsidised programs in their lifetime that are:
    • at the same AQF level (the ‘2 at a level in a lifetime’ limit); and/or
    • accredited courses with the title ‘Course in’…’ (the ‘2 "courses in…" in a lifetime’ limit).


A student must not:

  • be currently enrolled in secondary school. This includes students enrolled in any government, non-government, independent, Catholic or home school. School based apprentices and trainees are exempt from this criterion.


Eligibility exemptions

Swinburne University of Technology has been approved by the Department of Education and Training to grant Eligibility Exemptions to some of the Skills First criteria to assist students in accessing a government-subsidised place. 

All students will be notified of the outcome once they have submitted their course application for assessment. 

Specific eligibility requirements

An apprentice is a person who has entered into a registered training contract to study a qualification defined as an apprenticeship in a relevant Victorian Approved Training Scheme. 

You are not considered an apprentice if you: 

  • have entered into a training contract registered interstate; 
  • are undertaking a pre-apprenticeship; or 
  • have a registered training contract in a qualification defined as a traineeship in a relevant Victorian Approved Training Scheme.


If you’re an apprentice, you only need to provide proof that you meet the location, citizenship and education history criteria in order to be eligible for a government-subsidised place.

If you’re commencing an apprenticeship and have already started or are scheduled to start qualifications on the Victorian Government's list of 2020 Pre-Apprenticeship and Pathway Qualifications [PDF 17KB], you may still be eligible to enrol in two other vocational education programs in a government-subsidised place.

Please review our 2020 Foundation Skills List to check if you are eligible for a government-subsidised place. 

You must: 

  • provide proof that you meet the location and citizenship criteria, and 
  • meet the education history criteria. 


You must not

  • hold a diploma level or higher qualification issued by an Australian provider; or 
  • be enrolled in the Commonwealth Government’s Skills for Education and Employment program. 

Free TAFE for Priority Courses is a Victorian Government initiative that will pay a student’s tuition fees, if eligible for government-subsidised training, to study one of 30 non-apprenticeship courses and 18 apprenticeship pathway courses (sometimes called pre-apprenticeships) from 1 January 2019. 

Students must first meet the Victorian State Government Eligibility criteria for government-subsidised training which includes location, citizenship and education history, as outlined above. 

Exemptions from some of the Skills First eligibility criteria have been granted for individuals wanting to enrol in the ‘Course in NDIS’ and for individuals who have commenced this course and are enrolling in further study in specific qualifications related to the NDIS. 

View the Government’s Free TAFE for Priority Courses list

Participation in the ‘Course in NDIS’ will not impact an individual’s future Entitlement for Funded Training and will not be taken into account when assessing against the Skills First eligibility criteria. 

Participation in any of the five ‘NDIS Related Qualifications’ will not be taken into account when assessing eligibility for participation in any of the other ‘NDIS Related Qualifications’ during the time period of this initiative (from 1 July 2018 to 31 December 2020). 

Courses included as part of the NDIS:


Participation in any of the five ‘NDIS Related Qualifications’ will be taken into account when assessing eligibility for participation in any other government subsidised training that is not one of the ‘NDIS Related Qualifications’ during the time period of this initiative (from 1 July 2018 to 31 December 2020) and for the ‘NDIS Related Qualifications’ commencing after 31 December 2020. 

The initiative is to support the Victorian Government’s industry plan for family violence prevention and response. 

Course in Identifying and Responding to Family Violence Risk 

Exemptions from some of the Skills First eligibility criteria has been granted for individuals wanting to enrol in Course in Identifying and Responding to Family Violence Risk

When assessing an individual’s eligibility for a Skills First subsidised training place Swinburne University of Technology will not take into account some of the Skills First eligibility criteria.  

Provided you meet the following criteria, eligibility exemptions will apply:

You must: 

  • Be physically present in the state of Victoria at all times at which you are undertaking the training and assessment; and
  • Be an Australian citizen or holder of a permanent visa, or a New Zealand Citizen (visa 444)
     

Completion in Course in Identifying and Responding to Family Violence Risk will not be taken into account when determining an individual’s future eligibility for funded training. 

Certificate IV in Training & Assessment  

Exemptions from some of Skills First eligibility criteria has been granted for individuals who present with a referral letter from GEN VIC and are wanting to enrol in the Certificate IV in Training & Assessment

The Victorian Government, with the Commonwealth Government, is responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic by fully funding five Infection Control Skill Sets (Skill Sets) for training providers to deliver to employed Victorian workers. These short courses will help workers ensure their workplaces are safe for themselves and the community and stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Enrolments opened from 1 July 2020 with commencements to start between 1 July 2020 and 31 December 2020. 

This initiative relates to the following five Skill Sets: 

Who can participate in the Skill Sets? 

A person can participate in they are: 

  • Currently employed in Victoria in a customer facing role
  • Have not previously completed the individual Skill Set they are seeking to enrol in, or any other Infection Control Skill Sets

In addition, a person seeking to participate in HLTSS00064 – Infection Control Skill Set will need to be currently employed in the disability/individual support care sector or the age care sector. 

The Victorian Government have made the decision to fund the fees associated to any one of the Skills Sets for eligible individuals and students will not be liable for any fees. 

Swinburne University of Technology will not consider the following eligibility criterion for students wanting to apply in of the Skill Sets:

  • The citizenship and residency requirement 
  • ‘two in a year’ 
  • ‘two at a time’


Note:
Enrolment in any one of Infection Skill Sets will not affect a student’s future Skills First eligibility. 

Learn more about our Infection Control Skill Set courses.

Government special initiatives 

If you’re referred to training under a special government initiative, you may not need to meet certain criteria to be eligible for a Victorian government-subsidised place. 

Specific initiatives include: 


Not eligible for a government-subsidised place? 

If you are ineligible for a government-subsidised place, you may be offered a full-fee place. You can get an estimate of your total course cost by checking the indicative course fees

Fee concessions

Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for a concession to help reduce the amount of fees you 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 diploma level and above) for Indigenous students. 

Find out if you’re eligible for a fee concession.

Need some assistance?

We’re here to help. If you have any questions about your eligibility for a government-subsidised place or fee concession, contact studentHQ in person or call the team on 1300 794 628 (option 1) and we’ll assist you. 

Ready to apply?

Now that you know if you’re eligible for the Skills First program, why not apply for your course?

How to apply