To be eligible for a government-subsidised place, you must meet various eligibility criteria and the course you have 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.

Find out more about Skills First

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for Skills First training, you must be:

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

Students in specific postcodes near the Victorian border don't have to be always physically present in Victoria for their supervised training and assessment. They can do online or workplace-based training from within those postcodes, as well as crossing the border into Victoria for training.

The limits of subsidised training

In a calendar year, you may only commence a maximum of four programs with a limit of two from each category:

  • Skills First subsidised Skill Sets; and
  • Skills First subsidised programs that are AQF qualifications.

However, these scenarios will not be counted when determining if you meet these limits:

  • transitioning from a superseded program to the current version of the same program;
  • recommencing training in the same program (at either the same or a different provider);
  • enrolling in an apprenticeship (not traineeship) after having participated in one of the programs identified as a Pre-Apprenticeship and Pathway Program; or
  • participation in 22510VIC – Course in Identifying and Responding to Family Violence Risk.

You may only commence a maximum of two Skills First subsidised programs at any one time.

Participation in 22510VIC – Course in Identifying and Responding to Family Violence Risk will not be counted when determining if you meet this limit.

Additional eligibility requirements

You will not be eligible for a Foundation Skills Program if you: 

  • hold an AQF qualification issued by an Australian VET or higher education provider that is at AQF level 5 (Diploma) or higher
  • are enrolled in the Commonwealth Government’s Skills for Education and Employment program

If you are commencing an apprenticeship, to be eligible for Skills First subsidised training you must be: 

  • employed in Victoria in either a full-time or part-time capacity under an award or registered agreement; 
  • undertaking an approved training scheme; and 
  • a signatory to a training contract with your employer that is registered with the VRQA

If you will be under 17 years of age at the time your training commences, unless you are undertaking training as part of a school-based apprenticeship, to be eligible for Skills First subsidised training, you must have received an exemption from school attendance.

Government initiatives 

If you’re referred to training under a special government initiative or don’t meet certain criteria above, you may still be eligible for a Victorian Government-subsidised place and/or other support services, which include: 

  • Free TAFE for Priority Courses – a government initiative that will pay a student’s tuition fees if eligible for government-subsidised training
  • Asylum Seeker VET program initiative – subsidised study for eligible asylum seekers in courses at foundation and certificate I to IV level 
  • Youth Access Initiative – free tuition for young people aged up to 24 who have been or are currently supported by the Refugee Minor Program, or have been or are on a Child Protection Order, Family Court Order or Youth Justice Order (courses include certificates I to IV, diplomas, advanced diplomas and more)
  • Family Violence Reform – training to help community service workers provide an initial response to the family violence risk they encounter
  • Swinburne Skills and Jobs Centre – free career advice and support services for anyone entering or re-entering the workforce, training, re-skilling or looking to completely change careers

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 and above) for Indigenous students.

Check your eligibility for fee concessions
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. 

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.

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