Student FAQs

What is Free TAFE for Priority Courses?
Free TAFE for Priority Courses is a Victorian Government program that will pay your tuition fees to study in selected courses at TAFE, if you’re eligible.

Who is eligible for Free TAFE for Priority Courses?
You might be eligible if you are under 20 years old, 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.

A TAFE will confirm your eligibility when you enrol in Free TAFE for Priority Courses.

When does Free TAFE for priority courses start?
Free TAFE for Priority Courses will start on 1 January, 2019.
TAFEs may take enrolments for Free TAFE for Priority Courses that commence in 2019, during 2018.

Which courses will be tuition-free priority courses?
The tuition-free priority course list includes 20 non-apprenticeship courses and 18 courses that provide pathways to apprenticeships (also known as ‘pre-apprenticeships’).

The Government will make further announcements to confirm the composition of a further ten priority courses following consultation with industry, in time for students to enrol for the 2019 training year.

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.

The initial 20 priority non-apprenticeship courses are:

  • Certificate IV/Diploma/Advanced Diploma in Accounting
  • Certificate IV in Ageing Support
  • Certificate II/III/IV in Agriculture
  • Certificate III in Agriculture (Dairy Production)
  • Certificate III/IV in Allied Health Assistance
  • Certificate IV/Diploma in Building and Construction (Building)
  • Certificate III in Civil Construction
  • Certificate III/IV/Diploma in Community Services
  • Certificate III in Concreting
  • Certificate III in Construction Waterproofing
  • Certificate III/IV in Dental Assisting
  • Certificate IV in Disability
  • Certificate III/IV in Education Support
  • Certificate IV in Engineering
  • Certificate III in Horticulture
  • Certificate III in Hospitality
  • Certificate III in Individual Support
  • Certificate IV in Mental Health
  • Diploma of Nursing
  • Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services.

The 18 apprenticeship pathway courses are:

  • 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 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 Retail Baking Assistance
  • Certificate II in Salon Assistant
  • Certificate II in Signage and Graphics.

Where can I do tuition-free priority courses?
You can do Free TAFE 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.

Does it cover all my fees?
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.

Free TAFE courses delivered via Chisholm online are completely free, with no additional fees to pay.

Can I do a course that's not on the Free TAFE for Priority Courses list?
Only the courses on the tuition-free priority course list will be tuition fee-free, but there are around 1,000 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 and your training provider can check if you are eligible for a concession.

What's the difference between government-subsidised training and Free TAFE for Priority Courses?
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.

I am doing training now in a course on the Tuition Free Priority Course list. Will I get a refund on fees I pay for this 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.

I am doing training now. Should I drop out and start again next year, when Free TAFE for Priority Courses come in?
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. 

If I do a Free TAFE for Priority Course, will I get a job?
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 resume.

How many priority courses can I do tuition-free?
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.

How will Free TAFE for Priority Courses affect my eligibility for future government-subsidised training?
Courses undertaken as Free TAFE for Priority Courses are treated the same way as any other course you have undertaken, for the purpose of determining whether you are eligible for further Victorian Government-subsidised training.

Your TAFE will be able to tell you about whether you will have future Victorian Government-subsidised training options.

Where can I find out more?
Contact the Training and TAFE line on 131 823 or visit www.tafe.vic.gov.au