Eligibility for a government subsidised place (Vocational study)

Check your eligibility for a government subsidised place in a vocational education program.

How to check if you are eligible

Important - eligibility criteria waver

The Victorian Government is currently waiving the following two eligibility criteria:

  1. Age and prior education
    • If you are 20 years of age or over as at 1 January in the year you start your program, you may be eligible if you are applying for a qualification higher than the qualification you have already completed, and you meet the other eligibility criteria. [This requirement is currently being waived for all vocational education programs].
       
  2. Education history
    • You must not have, in your lifetime, started two or more programs in a government subsidised place at the same AQF level (e.g. Advanced Diploma) as the program you are applying for. [This requirement is currently being waived for all vocational education programs].

Please read the full eligibility criteria section below for details.

Check your eligibility with the Victorian Skills Gateway Eligibility Indicator. Alternatively, you can refer to the eligibility criteria stated below.

When checking your eligibility, please note:

  • the Victorian Skills Gateway Eligibility Indicator will provide you with an indication of your eligibility only. If you are offered a government subsidised place at RMIT, a full assessment of your eligibility will be completed when you submit your online Evidence of student eligibility declaration
  • additional criteria may apply for apprentices and Foundation Skills students, and is specified below
  • trainees are required to meet the standard eligibility criteria
  • if you are offered a government subsidised place you must provide proof of eligibility before you enrol.

To be eligible for a government subsidised place, you must meet the Victorian State Government eligibility criteria, which includes location, citizenship, age and education history, as outlined below. The program you have applied for must also be offering government subsidised places.

Location and citizenship

You must be physically present in Victoria for all of your studies. This includes attending training/classes that are delivered face-to-face on campus, and also being physically present in Victoria when accessing and studying course materials delivered by distance or online.

You must also be either:

  • an Australian citizen, or
  • an Australian Permanent Resident (holder of a permanent visa), or
  • the holder of a Permanent Humanitarian visa (PHV), or
  • a New Zealand citizen

You will be required to provide evidence of your citizenship or residency status before you can enrol, so make sure you can obtain original documents (or certified copies) that prove your citizenship or residency status.

Age and prior education

If you are 20 years of age or over as at 1 January in the year you start your program, you may be eligible if you are applying for a qualification higher than the qualification you have already completed,  and you meet the other eligibility criteria. [This requirement is currently being waived for all vocational education programs.]

Higher qualifications obtained overseas that have not been formally assessed for Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) equivalency will not be included in this criteria.

  • Applicants of any age whose existing highest qualification is a VCE, VCAL, International Baccalaureate Diploma, or an Australian senior secondary school certificate, may be eligible for a government subsidised place in a Certificate II level program or above.

Education history

To be eligible you:

  • must not have started, or be due to start, more than two programs in a government subsidised place in the same calendar year, and
  • must not be currently enrolled in two or more programs in government subsidised places at the same time, and
  • must not have, in your lifetime, started two or more programs in a government subsidised place at the same AQF level (e.g. Advanced Diploma) as the program you are applying for [This requirement is currently being waived for all vocational education programs] , and
  • 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 criteria.

An apprentice is defined as 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.

An apprentice does not include a person who:

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

If you are 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. Also refer to the note below.

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

To be eligible for a government subsidised place in an approved Foundation Skills program (PDF), you must:

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

You are not eligible for a government subsidised place in a Foundation Skills program if you:

Free TAFE for Priority Courses is a government initiative that will be introduced as of 1 January 2019. The initiative covers tuition fees for priority courses/programs for commencing students who are eligible for a government subsidised place.

Students must first meet the Victorian State Government eligibility criteria which includes location, citizenship and education history, as outlined above. If you are eligible, Free TAFE for Priority Courses will pay the tuition fees for your whole program.

If you have previously commenced a Free TAFE program, you will not be eligible for free TAFE but you may still be eligible for a government subsidised place.

Students will still be required to pay for other fees, such as the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF), graduation fees and material fees.

Please visit Free TAFE for Priority Courses for more information and a list of Free TAFE programs offered at RMIT.

Special initiatives for a government subsidised place

If you are referred to training under a special initiative, you may not need to meet particular criteria to be eligible for a Victorian government subsidised place.

If you are referred to training under the Asylum Seeker VET program initiative, you must meet all eligibility criteria for a government subsidised place, except the citizenship/residency requirement.

If you are referred to training under this initiative, you must present RMIT with:

  • Evidence of your entitlement to a valid Bridging Visa Class E (BVE), Safe Haven Enterprise visa (SHEV) or Temporary Protection visa (TPV).

Evidence of visa entitlement includes your Immicard, Visa Grant Notice or your current Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) entitlement statement.

Back to Work Scheme participants must meet all eligibility criteria for a government subsidised place, except the ‘upskilling’ and ‘two at level in a lifetime’ requirement.

If you are referred to training under this scheme, you must present RMIT with an email issued by the State Revenue Office to your employer that confirms your status as a Back to Work participant.

If you are referred to training under the Latrobe Valley Retrenched Employees initiative, you must meet all eligibility criteria for a government subsidised place, except the ‘upskilling’ and ‘two at level in a lifetime’ requirement.

If you are referred to training under this initiative, you must present RMIT with the following documents:

  • a referral letter, form or other written advice from the Latrobe Valley Authority or Morwell Skills and Jobs Centre; or
  • an email from a Latrobe Valley Authority transition caseworker confirming your referral; or
  • for former Engie employees of the Hazelwood power plant and mine (as well as employees of Engie subcontractors that worked at the power plant or mine) only, a copy of the separation certificate or letter confirming retrenchment from work at the power station or mine, even if there has been no referral from the Latrobe Valley Authority.

Ineligible individuals

Victorian State Government legislation states that the following individuals are not eligible to apply for a government subsidised place in a vocational education program.

  • Anyone who does not meet the eligibility criteria (listed above) for a Victorian government subsidised place.
  • A prisoner within the meaning of the Corrections Act 1986 who is held at any of the following custodial settings:
    • Barwon Prison
    • Beechworth Correctional Centre
    • Dame Phyllis Frost Centre
    • Dhurringile Prison
    • Hopkins Correctional Centre (Ararat)
    • Langi Kal Kal Prison
    • Loddon Prison
    • Marngoneet Correctional Centre
    • Melbourne Assessment Prison
    • Tarrengower Prison
    • Metropolitan Remand Centre
    • Fulham Correctional Centre
    • Port Phillip Prison.
  • A person who is detained under the Mental Health Act 1986 or the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997 or the Sentencing Act 1991 at the Thomas Embling Hospital.
  • A person who is detained (other than on weekend detention) under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 or the Sentencing Act 1991 or who is held on remand in one of the following youth justice facilities:
    • Malmsbury Juvenile Justice Centre
    • Melbourne Youth Justice Centre
    • Parkville Youth Residential Centre.

These exclusions do not apply to individuals on community based orders made under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005, or those who are held in Judy Lazarus Transition Centres as they are transitioning into the community and will have a letter of support.

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