What is skills first funding?
Skills First is a Victorian government funding scheme that helps eligible individuals pay less for training and upskilling in high-priority areas.
The Department of Education and Training (part of the Victorian Government) created the Skills First program specifically to help young people (under 20), people doing apprenticeships, and people looking to study Foundation Skills courses (Certificate I and II).
But any eligible Victorian can benefit from Skills First funding. If you’re over 20 years of age, you may be able to get funding for training at a higher level than what you’ve studied before.
If you’re eligible, the government will pay the subsidy for your student tuition fees to your training provider on enrolment.
Courses in Victoria
Skills First Courses in Victoria
Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care (Melbourne Only)
Diploma of Building and Construction (Building)
Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building)
Building Leadership Programme (VIC ONLY)
Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care (Geelong & Werribee Only)
Diploma of Nursing (Geelong & Werribee Only)
Alcohol and Other Drugs Skill Set (VIC Only)
Course in Performing Allied Health Tasks and Supporting People with Disability (VIC Only)
What’s on the Skills First funded course list?
Skills First funding covers courses in priority areas, where there’s strong demand and high chances of getting a job afterwards.
Qualifications cover a broad range of areas — from screenwriting to community services to plastering — and all levels of vocational training, including: – Foundation skills (Certificate I and II) – Certificate III – Certificate IV – Diploma – Advanced diploma – Apprenticeships and traineeships You can also get funding to study a ’skill set’, an accredited short course created to help fill skill shortages in the workplace. Approved Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) and TAFE institutes can both provide funded courses. Check with the provider first for availability and to confirm your eligibility. You can browse courses with Skills First places available on this page, or view the full subsidised training list on the Victorian Government website.
Am I eligible for government funding?
To get Skills First funding, you must meet the eligibility requirements. The Skills First eligibility criteria states you must be one of the following:
– Australian citizen
– Australian permanent resident
– New Zealand citizen
If you are an asylum seeker, you may be able to get funding under the Asylum Seeker VET Program.
If you’re under 20 years of age, you can get funding to study a qualification at any level.
If you‘re over 20, you can only get funding for a higher qualification than any you’ve done in the past. So, if you’ve got a cert III, you can study a cert IV or higher level. But if you’ve studied for a diploma, you can’t get funding to study a cert IV.
You can do a skill set, or accredited short course, at any level — no matter what your age or prior study.
There are exemptions to these criteria which might mean you can still get Skills First funding. For example, concession card holders and jobseekers might be eligible through JobTrainer.
To find out if you can study through Skills First, enquire about a course. When you speak to the training provider, they will check your eligibility and see if they have training places available.
Others Government Funding Schemes in Victoria
JobTrainer is a funding scheme that provides free or low-fee training so you can get your career on track.Learn More
Skills Checkpoint is a government program that helps Australians over 40 retrain and upskill so they can stay in their current role, find a new role, or change careers.Learn More
How many government-funded courses can I do in Victoria?
There are limits on the amount of Skills First training you can do. You can only start up to two qualifications or skill sets each calendar year, and you can’t do more than two at a time. You also can’t do Skills First training at a level if you’ve started government-funded courses at that AQF level before — even if you haven’t finished them.
What is the JobTrainer initiative?
JobTrainer is a joint government funding scheme between the Commonwealth Government and the state governments which helps Australians most affected by COVID-19 reskill, upskill or get back into work.
What is the Victorian Skills Gateway?
The Victorian Skills Gateway is a website run by the Victorian Government for learners, with information about vocational education and careers.
What does ‘government subsidised’ mean?
If a course is government subsidised, that means the government will pay for all or part of the course fees to the training provider.