About COVID-19

COVID-19 frequently asked questions

Information for international students

Key information

Update 23 April 2020

As our nation's COVID-19 environment evolves, we continue to work with the Department of Education and Training (DET), the Chief Health Officer and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to plan for, and respond to, the impact of COVID-19 on Victoria's TAFE and training sector - and Chisholm's delivery of courses.

Education remains one of the essential reasons that Victorians can leave their premises, and there are a number of courses for which on-campus instruction is required. Chisholm, together with all Victorian TAFEs will manage a small number of classes on campus where necessary, following all of the social distancing directions issued by the Chief Health Officer.

Over the past couple of weeks, we have been focused on the preparation of more flexible modes of delivery for classes in term 2 and transitioning to remote and online delivery wherever possible.

Communicating these changes is ongoing but most students will have received details of their term 2 course structure and process for remote learning. Information about student placements is also being distributed to those students who will continue to undertake placements this term.

Students, please be sure to continue checking your email for updates.

Apprentice and employer frequently asked questions

I’m an apprentice/School Based Apprentices and Trainees (SBAT) and have lost my job. What help is currently available?

Apprentices and SBATs can refer to their Apprenticeship Support Officer. Please phone 0423 826 745 or email aso@chisholm.edu.au. Apprentices and SBATs should also note that employers can access assistance to retain their employees over this time. For more information, please refer to the Australian Government's Supporting apprentices and trainees page.

The Federal Government has announced a number of payments to support Australians in financial hardship:

Support for apprentices, trainees and SBATs that have been suspended or cancelled

  • Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) providers can offer advice to SBATs, apprentices and trainees that have been suspended or cancelled. This also includes assistance in finding potential new employers and making sure training carries on to support apprenticeships.
  • The National Apprentice Employment Network (NAEN) have a central re-engagement register for apprentices, trainees and SBATs who have lost their employment and seeking a new employer. Employers can also register if they have vacancies at the Apprentice and trainee re-engagement register page.
  • Students are urged to register if they have had their apprenticeship, traineeship or SBAT suspended or cancelled.
  • Apprentices and trainees who are not receiving the Youth Allowance (Apprentice) payment, and who have lost their job and are not receiving an income due to the the economic impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) can apply for the new JobSeeker payments via Services Australia website.
  • Apprentices and trainees seeking JobSeeker payments do not need to provide an employment separation certificate. This means that apprentices who have had their apprenticeship suspended, but not terminated, will be eligible for JobSeeker payments.
  • If you are seeking alternative employment, you can register with the Victorian Government’s Working for Victoria program and/or access the Commonwealth Government’s Jobs Hub.

What is Working for Victoria?

  • On 21 March 2020, the Premier announced a $500 million Working for Victoria Fund.
  • The fund will connect workers with new jobs that will support our state’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
  • This program includes retraining and certifying workers for direct employment now and to have skills for the post- coronavirus (COVID-19) economy.
  • Those wanting to register their interest in jobs or training should visit the Working for Victoria website.

I want to enrol but cannot afford it. What are my options?

If you have a current health care card, you may be eligible for a scholarship via the Caroline Chisholm Education Foundation (CCEF) to cover the tuition and material fees. Please visit the CCEF website, or contact scholarships@chisholm.edu.au for more information.

Students are encouraged to explore their eligibility for Centrelink support. The Federal Government will provide a temporary additional payment of $550 for eligible income support recipients (including Austudy). For more information, please visit Service Australia’s COVID-19 Information page. For help with how to claim, please visit Services Australia's Register your intention to claim a payment - coronavirus (COVID-19) page.

Can I access any financial support/information while at Chisholm?

Yes, our Student Wellbeing Officer is available for appointments. Students can contact the Student Wellbeing Officer on 03 9212 5269 or email financesupport@chisholm.edu.au.

I’m currently enrolled and would like to withdraw. How can I do this?

Prior to withdrawing, please contact our Financial Support team on 03 9212 5269 or email financesupport@chisholm.edu.au so we can discuss all options available to support you during this time.

If you want to pursue withdrawal of course and request a refund of fees due to financial crisis, a refund of tuition fees will be provided for units not yet commenced. Please note, apprentices are able to continue studies they have paid for, to keep their apprenticeship progressing even if they don’t have an employer. Speak to your relevant trade department, or the Apprenticeship Hub on 1300 775 265.

I’m struggling to pay my bills. What can I do?

If you're having financial difficulties, having problems with an insurance claim process, or can't make your loan repayments due to COVID-19, contact your bank or financial service provider first and ask for assistance. The type of assistance offered by financial providers will depend on individual circumstances, but can include:

  • A deferral of scheduled loan repayments
  • Waiving fees and charges
  • Interest-free periods or no interest rate increases
  • Debt consolidation to help make repayments more manageable.

If you run into problems during this process, contact the Australian Financial Complaints Authority on 1800 931 678 or visit the Australian Financial Complaints Authority website.

If you are struggling with your finances at the moment, call the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 and speak to a free independent financial counsellor.

Is there help available in my community?

No Interest Loans (NILS) provide individuals and families on low incomes with access to safe, fair and affordable credit. Loans are available for essential goods and services such as fridges, washing machines, computers and medical procedures for up to $1,500. Repayments are set at an affordable amount over 12 to 18 months. For more information, please call 13 NILS or refer to the NILS website.

Local community support centres are a valuable resource, enabling residents to access services such as case management, financial counselling, and emergency relief. For further information regarding support centres near you, please contact Community Information & Support Victoria (CISVic) on 03 9672 2000, or refer to the CISVic website.

Similar support may be available through the Salvation Army. For information regarding your local corps, please visit the Salvation Army website.

Contact Student Services on 03 9212 5269 or email studentservices@chisholm.edu.au for a full list of resources available to those in the south-east regions of Greater Dandenong, Casey Cardinia, Frankston and Mornington Peninsula.

I want to continue to study, but I don’t have a computer or internet access

You may be eligible to loan a laptop from Chisholm to support your studies. Please contact Students can contact the Student Wellbeing Officer on 03 9212 5269 or email financesupport@chisholm.edu.au for further details.

How is Chisholm managing COVID-19?

Chisholm is actively monitoring the outbreak of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) to ensure our response places the wellbeing of our students and community first.

Following advice and direction from the DHHS, we have undertaken a range of measures to minimise the health risks for our students and staff, including:

  • implementing social distancing measures for those still on campus postponed student and community gatherings and events
  • encouraging good hygiene practices amongst students and staff, including washing hands regularly and increasing access to hand sanitiser and alcohol wipes
  • increasing routine cleaning activities in high traffic areas and large class/program areas
  • providing regular information to students, staff and our business and industry partners.

Should I still enrol my new apprentice at Chisholm?

Chisholm continues to enrol and commence new apprentices. To ensure your apprentice has the greatest chance of success, they must be enrolled.

Our Apprenticeship Hub has introduced new procedures to facilitate the remote enrolment of apprentices. Therefore, most apprentices will not have to attend a campus to complete the enrolment process.

Are classes and training still on?

Apprentices and trainees have been contacted to confirm their course delivery for the start of term 2.

Following advice from DET on 23 March, Chisholm has focus on the preparation of more flexible modes of delivery for classes in term 2 and transition to online delivery and remote access to learning material wherever possible.

Campus consolidation

Our Wonthaggi and Rosebud campuses will not be open or staffed from Monday 6 April until further notice as our service team members have transitioned to remote delivery.

We are now entering a planning phase to prepare for flexible modes of delivery for classes in term 2 and transition to remote and online delivery wherever possible.

We are therefore temporarily consolidating our activities to the four main campuses of Dandenong, Frankston, Berwick and Cranbourne from Monday 6 April. We will however continue to provide a service across the whole of the Chisholm student community.

If you need to access a computer, printing or internet, you can visit Building A of our Frankston campus, where social distancing practices have been implemented.

Are other measures are being considered for classes?

We are, actively preparing contingencies for each course such as the preparation of a more flexible mode of delivery for classes in term 2 and transition to online delivery and remote access to learning material wherever possible.

This includes planning for the rescheduling of classes, enabling remote access to learning programs and negotiating alternative placement opportunities for students where possible.

How do I use Zoom?

Chisholm has updated its security for all Zoom meetings and this means some things have changed to the way you use it.

If you have any questions, or need any help to optimise their Zoom settings, they can contact the ITS Service Desk on 9212 5444, servicedesk@chisholm.edu.au or the Service Now Self-Service Portal, where you’ll find more ‘how-to’ guides to connect you with Zoom and other remote learning technologies.

My apprentice is unwell

The health and wellbeing of our apprentices, employers, Chisholm staff, students and our community is our priority. We must be extra vigilant during these times, as we understand your workplace will be also.

Please advise your apprentice to seek medical advice. If your apprentice is concerned about their health and requires testing for COVID-19, please let us know by emailing the details to studentsafety@chisholm.edu.au.

What if testing confirms my apprentice has COVID-19?

If testing confirms that your apprentice has COVID-19, please follow all of the required medical and self-isolation advice being provided to employers and the public by the relevant government authorities.

You will also need to notify us at studentsafety@chisholm.edu.au with the following information:

  • Name
  • Campus
  • Course or program name
  • Classes attended
  • Date/time of notification
  • Contact phone number

All student details and personal information will be subject to privacy provisions.

Chisholm will notify affected students if we have a confirmed case of COVID-19 with advice from the DHHS.

Employer support

Supporting apprentices and trainees

For fact sheets for supporting apprentices and trainees, visit the Department of Education, Skills and Employment webpage.

This information has been provided by the Australian Government, Department of Education, Skills and Employment. As part of the Government’s Economic Response to the Coronavirus, $1.3 billion will be made available to 70,000 small businesses to help them keep around 117,000 apprentices and trainees across the country in work and training.

For information on the coronavirus aid package for apprentices contact your Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider.

For advice about workplace entitlements and obligations if you're affected by the outbreak of coronavirus visit Fair Work.

I’m unsure about the block dates or if they’ve changed?

If you have any other queries about your apprentice or block dates, please contact:

The Apprenticeship Hub email: apphub@chisholm.edu.au or phone: 1300 775 265

Additional important links and information

Updated: 30 March 2020

Please note that the Dandenong campus Apprenticeship Hub location is temporarily closed until further notice. Our staff continue to work remotely and will be available by phone and email during business hours. For updated operating hours for campus receptions and the Apprenticeship Hub please visit our Contact us page.

A message from the CEO, Stephen Varty

23 March 2020

Chisholm Institute continues to work closely with the Department of Education and Training (DET) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to plan for, and respond to, the current and potential impact of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) on our students, staff and the wider community.

The situation is changing rapidly and as such, we are taking further action to reduce the potential risk and spread of COVID-19. Although we have no suspected or confirmed cases of the virus, we believe the following actions are necessary to keep our staff, students and community safe and well.

Following advice from DET on 23 March, Chisholm will focus on the preparation of a more flexible mode of delivery for classes in term 2 and transition to online delivery and remote access to learning material wherever possible. Apprentices and trainees are therefore not required for on-campus for delivery from Wednesday 25 March, through until the start of Term 2 on Tuesday 14 April, as courses will not be delivered during this time. We will be in further contact to confirm your course details for term 2.

We require you to spend this time with your employer on-the-job and will provide information to support you to collect a portfolio of evidence for assessment purposes. We are committed to developing options to ensure your apprenticeship continues through to completion within the current timelines and will also liaise directly with your employer.

Chisholm will continue to communicate regularly with you via email, SMS, the Chisholm website and social media to ensure you are well informed and supported in the changing environment. I would encourage you to visit our Coronavirus page regularly for the most up-to-date information.

If you require support, please contact an Apprenticeship Support Officer (ASO). The ASOs provide free and confidential advice and assistance with work, training or personal issues. They also provide specialised support for apprentices who find themselves out of work, to keep them on track and help you complete your apprenticeship. Please phone 0423 826 745 or email aso@chisholm.edu.au

In you have any specific questions regarding your training, please contact the Chisholm Apprenticeship Hub on 1300 775 265 or email apphub@chisholm.edu.au.

Thank you for your patience and support during these challenging times. We will continue to respond as quickly as possible to the changing circumstances and update you regularly.


Stephen Varty
Chief Executive Officer
Chisholm Institute