Eligibility for a government subsidised place

Through the Skills First training and TAFE system, eligible students can apply for a government-subsidised place. If successful, the government will contribute to the cost of your training.

If you are not eligible for a government-subsidised place, you will be charged the full-fee tuition rate for all enrolled hours.

Eligibility exemptions

Vocational training is now more accessible, regardless of whether you hold a post-school qualification, or whether you want to retrain for a different career path.

Government supported exemptions under the Skills First program are available for students who commence a course after 1 January, 2017.

Funding rules can be complex depending on your circumstances and education history. The easiest way to find out if you are eligible is to get in touch with us on 1300 82 33 87. We can only confirm this once you have selected a course and we have sighted all your relevant documents.

List of eligibility criteria

You are eligible for a government subsidised place if you are:

  • an Australian citizen; or
  • an Australian Permanent Resident (holder of a permanent Visa); or
  • a New Zealand citizen; or
  • an Asylum Seeker (referred or direct enrolment); or
  • a referred Victim of Human Trafficking


  • have a physical presence in Victoria
  • have not commenced or scheduled to commence two or more government subsidised courses this year or currently undertaking 2 or more government subsidised courses
  • are not currently enrolled in a secondary school
  • have not commenced two or more government subsidised courses/qualifications at the same Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) level in your lifetime (excluding courses on the Foundation Skills List)

and are any of the following:

  • under 20 years of age
  • seeking to enrol in a Foundation Skills course (and do not hold a Diploma or higher qualification or are receiving core skills training in other sectors, and not currently participating in the Skills for Education and Employment program)
  • seeking to enrol in VCE or VCAL (Intermediate/Senior)
  • seeking to enrol into an apprenticeship (not a traineeship)
  • 20 years of age and older and "up-skilling" by seeking to enrol in a course at a higher level than your existing qualification

You can get an indication of whether you may be eligible for government subsidies by completing the funding eligibility indicator.

Eligibility requirements for State Government initiatives

Victoria University Polytechnic offers eligible students access to the following specific State Government initiatives in order to access a government subsidised fee for your course.

Asylum Seekers and Victims of Human Trafficking Initiative

This initiative offers asylum seekers and victims of human trafficking an opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge, providing them with a valuable resource in which to be active and successful members of the community. An Asylum Seeker [referred or direct application holding either a Bridging Visa Class E (BVE) or Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV) or Temporary Protection Visa (TPV)] may be able to enrol in Certificate I to IV level courses.  Asylum Seekers must meet all Skills First eligibility criteria except the citizenship/residency requirements. Find out more about the Asylum seeker VET program.

Retrenched Employees Program

This program aims to efficiently transition workers facing retrenchment to alternate employment through the application of appropriate training strategies. Those referred to training under this program must meet all Skills First eligibility criteria except the ‘up-skilling’ requirement.

Back to Work Scheme

This scheme is designed to assist unemployed youth, retrenched workers, out-of-trade apprentices, and the long-term unemployed back into the workforce. Those referred to training under this scheme must meet all Skills First eligibility criteria except the ‘up-skilling’, and/or ‘two at a level in a lifetime’ requirement.

Job Seekers

This initiative is available to assist job seekers to gain skills to re-enter the workforce. Those referred to training under this initiative must meet all Skills First eligibility criteria and should present with a completed referral form from either Disability Employment Services (DES) or a Jobactive Provider.

List of acceptable evidence to prove eligibility

The following is a list of all acceptable evidence you can use to prove your eligibility.

  • Australian birth certificate (not Birth Extract)
  • current Australian or New Zealand passport
  • naturalisation certificate (including Australian Citizenship Certificate)
  • a current green Medicare card
  • formal documentation issued by the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship that confirms your permanent residence.

If you are under 20 as at 1 January 2017 and the above documents do not contain your date of birth, then you must also provide one of the following:

  • current drivers licence
  • current learner permit
  • Proof of Age card
  • Keypass card.