Free TAFE for Priority Courses is a Victorian Government program that will pay a student’s tuition fees, if eligible, to study a priority course at TAFE.Browse Courses on Offer
"When I found out that GOTAFE was offering this qualification as part of Free TAFE, I was excited as this meant that I could stay close to home and not have to pay travel and accommodation fees."
Are you Eligible?
If you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident; or a New Zealand citizen, you may be eligible to study to a free TAFE course. Additionally, if you are:
Under 20yrs old
Aged under 20 (regardless of any other qualifications you might hold)
20 or older and enrolling in a course that is a higher qualification than the highest qualification previously attainedCall the TAFE and Training line for more information
Needing additional support
A Victorian who needs additional support, where you are:
- unemployed and clients of the Jobs Victoria Employment Network
- retrenched workers or
- automotive supply chain workers
Seeking a Career Change
A Victorian who wants 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.
From 1 January 2019, Free TAFE for Priority Courses covers tuition fees for priority courses for students who are eligible for government-subsidised training.
The Government's Free TAFE for Priority Courses
Free TAFE for Priority Courses aim to reduce financial barriers for eligible students wanting to train in courses that lead to jobs – in demand from Victorian employers.
The tuition fee free priority course list includes non-apprenticeship courses and courses that provide pathways to apprenticeships (also known as ‘pre-apprenticeships’).
The tuition fee 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
What courses are offered as part of Free TAFE for Priority Courses?
The tuition-free priority course list includes 30 non-apprenticeship courses and 17 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.
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.
Can I do a course that's not on the Free TAFE for Priority Courses list?
Yes, however you will need to pay the necessary tuition fee and costs associated with that course.
If you are interested in doing a course that is not included on the Free TAFE for Priority Courses then you may be able to apply for a course that is Victorian Government subsidised so the cost to you is reduced, if you are eligible.
There are many courses that are Victorian Government subsidised.
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.
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'm doing training now, should I drop out and start again next year to be eligible for Free TAFE?
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 Free TAFE for Priority Courses, 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 Free TAFE for 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 (Search the internet for ‘Victorian Skills and Job Centres’).
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.