Free TAFE for priority courses

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Stay updated about JobTrainer and Free TAFE

Be the first to hear about when JobTrainer courses become available, or stay updated on Free TAFE courses.

What is Free TAFE?

Free TAFE gives more Victorians the chance to study at TAFE. Eligible students do not pay tuition fees for a range of vocational qualifications.

RMIT are training people for priority jobs that are in-demand and creating opportunities for individuals to re-skill in industries that are most likely to be in-demand in the post COVID-19 economy.

If you’ve lost your job or experienced reduced hours due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, you might be eligible for a Free TAFE course.

Any Australian citizen or permanent resident or a New Zealand citizen is eligible to do one Free TAFE for priority course in Victoria if they meet the following criteria:

  • under 20 or upskilling
  • aged under 20 (regardless of any other qualifications they might hold)
  • 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 and are:

  • unemployed and clients of the Jobs Victoria Employment Network
  • retrenched workers
  • 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.
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Considering Free TAFE? Hear how these recent graduates are shaping what's next.

We caught up with three recent Free TAFE graduates to find out what their experience was like at RMIT, and how they’re kicking goals in their current careers as a result.

What is JobTrainer?

If you are thinking about upskilling in areas of job growth or simply want to future proof your career post-COVID-19, you could be eligible for JobTrainer.

JobTrainer is a joint initiative between the Commonwealth and State Government which provides 320,000 more training places and additional funding for free or low-fee (20% of the listed tuition fee) training courses for young people and job seekers. 

Courses will be available to eligible Victorians across a range of industries with skills shortages, such as health, construction, agriculture, community services, food processing, financial services, logistics and beauty services. Eligible applicants will be able to access up to one full qualification and one short course or skill set under the JobTrainer fund.

To qualify for JobTrainer, you must: 

  • Be an Australian Citizen, a permanent resident, a New Zealand citizen or asylum seeker and:
  • Be aged 17 – 24, or
  • A job seeker of any age, where a job seeker is defined as a person who: holds a valid and current Commonwealth Health Care Card, Pensioner Concession Card or Veteran’s Gold Card; or is unemployed

You also must not have commenced a full JobTrainer qualification before.

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Frequently asked questions

JobTrainer is available nation-wide and encompasses a wider variety of courses than Free TAFE. If you're eligible and you choose to study a course under the JobTrainer Fund, it means you only pay 20% of the listed tuition fee.

However, many of the courses available through the JobTrainer Fund are also on the Free TAFE for priority courses list. If you're eligible for one of these JobTrainer courses, you will not pay any tuition fees either. 

JobTrainer funding is available for accredited diplomas, certificates, or short courses, with state and territory governments responsible for determining which qualifications and short courses to prioritise from the agreed list (which focuses on training in areas of anticipated employment growth).

Want to stay updated on which RMIT courses will be covered by the JobTrainer Fund? Provide your details to catch important announcements and more information.

Free TAFE for Priority Courses is a Victorian Government program that will pay your tuition fees so that you can study in selected courses at TAFE.

You might be eligible if you are living in Victoria and are under 20 years of age, or if you are enrolling in a course at a higher level than any you have completed before, but you can check at any TAFE, or contact the Training and TAFE line on 131 823.

  • The tuition-free priority course list includes 42 non-apprenticeship courses and 20 courses that provide pathways to apprenticeships (also known as ‘pre-apprenticeships’).
  • The tuition-free priority courses lead to occupations in industries where there are likely to be more jobs. Some of them lead to work in important areas like preventing family violence, rolling out the National Disability Insurance Scheme in Victoria and delivering our major infrastructure projects.
  • Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping
  • Diploma of Accounting
  • Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs
  • Advanced Diploma of Accounting
  • Certificate IV in Ageing Support
  • Certificate II in Agriculture
  • Certificate III in Agriculture
  • Certificate IV in Agriculture
  • Certificate III in Agriculture (Dairy Production)
  • Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance
  • Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance
  • Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building)
  • Diploma of Building and Construction (Building)
  • Advanced Diploma of Building Surveying
  • Certificate IV in Child, Youth and Family Intervention
  • Certificate III in Civil Construction
  • Certificate IV in Civil Construction Supervision
  • Certificate III in Commercial Cookery
  • Certificate III in Community Services
  • Certificate IV in Community Services
  • Diploma of Community Services
  • Certificate III in Concreting
  • Certificate III in Construction Waterproofing
  • Certificate IV in Cyber Security
  • Certificate III in Dental Assisting
  • Certificate IV in Dental Assisting
  • Certificate IV in Disability
  • Certificate III in Education Support
  • Certificate IV in Education Support
  • Certificate IV in Engineering
  • Certificate III in Horticulture
  • Certificate III in Hospitality
  • Certificate III in Individual Support
  • Diploma of Justice
  • Certificate IV in Mental Health
  • Diploma of Nursing
  • Certificate IV in Plumbing and Service
  • Certificate III in Rail Infrastructure
  • Certificate III in Tourism
  • Certificate IV in Youth Work
  • Certificate II in Automotive Air Conditioning Technology
  • Certificate II in Automotive Body Repair Technology
  • Certificate II in Automotive Servicing Technology
  • Certificate II in Automotive Vocational Preparation
  • Certificate II in Baking
  • Certificate II in Building and Construction Pre-apprenticeship
  • Certificate II in Construction Pathways
  • Certificate II in Electrotechnology Studies (Pre-vocational)
  • Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start)
  • Certificate II in Engineering Pathways
  • Certificate II in Engineering Studies
  • Certificate II in Furniture Making
  • Certificate II in Glass and Glazing
  • Certificate II in Horticulture
  • Certificate II in Meat Processing (Food Services)
  • Certificate II in Plumbing (Pre-apprenticeship)
  • Certificate II in Printing and Graphic Arts (General)
  • Certificate II in Production Nursery
  • Certificate II in Salon Assistant
  • Certificate II in Signage and Graphics
  • You can do tuition free priority courses at Victorian TAFE institutes, including universities that offer TAFE courses.
  • To find a course near you, contact the Training and TAFE line on 131 823.
  • If you are eligible, Free TAFE for Priority Courses pays the tuition fees for your whole course.
  • TAFEs may charge you other fees, such as student services fees or materials fees that you will have to cover yourself.
  • Only the courses on the tuition-free priority course list are tuition fee-free, but there are around 1000 courses you can do at TAFEs and other training providers that are Victorian Government-subsidised.
  • While some tuition fees may apply for Victorian Government-subsidised training, you may be eligible for a concession.
  • Check the Victorian Skills Gateway to find Victorian Government-subsidised courses near you (Search the internet for ‘Victorian Skills Gateway’) and your training provider can check if you are eligible for a concession.
  • 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. It's been around for a while and there are around 1,000 subsidised courses you can do at TAFEs and other training providers.
  • The courses on the tuition free priority course list are subsidised, but the Government will also pay your tuition fees if you’re eligible. It starts next year.

No. Free TAFE for Priority Courses only applies to eligible students who enrol in a tuition free priority course that commences 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 dropping out and restarting could mean you become ineligible.
  • If you are thinking of dropping out for any reason, talk to the careers guidance staff at your training provider, or visit a Skills and Jobs Centre near you. Skills and Job Centres are based in TAFEs across Victoria and provide expert advice on training and employment opportunities. (Search the internet for ‘Victorian Skills and Job Centres’).
  • The tuition-free priority courses are in areas where there are likely to be more jobs in the future.
  • When you finish your course, a Skills and Jobs Centre can help you search for a job and support you to prepare your résumé. (Search the internet for ‘Victorian Skills and Job Centres’.)
  • Free TAFE for Priority Courses will pay your tuition fees for one course.
  • Once you have enrolled in a tuition-free priority course, you can’t get a tuition-free place again, even if you don’t finish your first tuition-free priority course.
  • You need to make a careful choice, so talk to your local TAFE or Skills and Jobs Centre if you are unsure (Search the internet for ‘Victorian Skills and Job Centres’).
  • For the purpose of determining whether you are eligible for further Victorian Government-subsidised training, courses undertaken as Free TAFE for Priority Courses are treated the same way as any other course you have undertaken.
  • Your TAFE will be able to tell you about whether you will have future Victorian Government-subsidised training options.

Contact the Training and TAFE line on 131 823 or visit

Free TAFE for Priority Courses is a Victorian Government program that will pay your tuition fees so that you can study in selected courses at TAFE.

  • If you are continuing in the same course at another TAFE or dual sector provider such as RMIT, the course would continue to be free at the second provider
  • If you are continuing the course but at a non-TAFE, you would be subject to normal tuition fee arrangements at that non-TAFE provider
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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer