Skills First Youth Access Initiative

Skills First is the Victorian Government’s commitment to a high-quality training and TAFE system that leads learners to real jobs.

Subject to meeting Skills First eligibility criteria, individuals are able to enrol in subsidised accredited vocational education and training (VET) courses that meet the skills needs of Victoria, and maximise individuals’ prospects of valuable work.

A key priority for Skills First is to support learners to engage with and succeed in their education and training. The Skills First Youth Access Initiative contributes to this priority by further reducing the costs of subsidised training by providing a waiver on student tuition fees for eligible young people. There may still be some costs involved in study, such as student services and amenities or materials fees, which students will need to cover.

Who is the Skills First Youth Access Initiative for?

The Skills First Youth Access Initiative is for young people in Victoria who:

  • meet eligibility criteria applying to government subsidised training under Skills First; and
  • are aged 24 years or under; and
  • have been or are currently on a Child Protection Order or a Youth Justice Order (but are not currently in custody); or
  • are a resident of an Education First Youth Foyer.

Available training

A wide range of subsidised vocational education and training choices are available under Skills First. These include training in:

  • Certificates (I – IV)
  • Diploma or Advanced Diploma courses
  • the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE)
  • the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL).

Please visit the 2021 funded course list to review all eligible courses.

How to access subsidised training & student tuition fee waiver

Young people should complete a Youth Access Initiative referral form, then make contact with Victoria University Polytechnic to discuss their tuition fee waiver.

Please complete the Skills First Youth Access Initiative referral form (DOCX, 567KB). A Referral Agency will then complete the relevant section of the form to refer a young person to training.

Alternatively, a young person can ‘self-refer’ by completing their section of the form and gaining the endorsement of an Authorised Officer, including:

  • Post-Care Support staff
  • Education First Youth Foyer authorised staff
  • Youth Justice case managers
  • central DJCS authorised staff
  • Parkville College authorised transition staff
  • authorised DET managers.

Once the referral form is complete, interested young people can contact Victoria University Polytechnic to discuss their interest and options. We are here to help you and our staff can support you to work out what training might suit you best.

Further advice

For more information and advice on the initiative, speak with our staff.

Alternatively, you can contact the Department of Education and Training by email to [email protected] or phone the TAFE and Training Line on 131 823​.