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 2020, during 2019.

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 free TAFE priority courses in 2020 include:

  • AHC20116 Certificate II in Agriculture
  • AHC30116 Certificate III in Agriculture
  • AHC30216 Certificate III in Agriculture (Dairy Production)
  • AHC30716 Certificate III in Horticulture
  • AHC40116 Certificate IV in Agriculture
  • CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support
  • CHC32015 Certificate III in Community Services
  • CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support
  • CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support
  • CHC40313 Certificate IV in Child, Youth and Family Intervention
  • CHC40413 Certificate IV in Youth Work
  • CHC42015 Certificate IV in Community Services
  • CHC43015 Certificate IV in Ageing Support
  • CHC43115 Certificate IV in Disability
  • CHC43215 Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs
  • CHC43315 Certificate IV in Mental Health
  • CHC52015 Diploma of Community Services
  • CPC30313 Certificate III in Concreting
  • CPC31411 Certificate III in Construction Waterproofing
  • CPC40110 Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building)
  • CPC40912 Certificate IV in Plumbing and Service
  • CPC50210 Diploma of Building and Construction (Building)
  • CPC60115 Advanced Diploma of Building Surveying
  • FNS40217 Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping
  • FNS50217 Diploma of Accounting
  • FNS60217 Advanced Diploma of Accounting
  • HLT33015 Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance
  • HLT35015 Certificate III in Dental Assisting
  • HLT43015 Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance
  • HLT45015 Certificate IV in Dental Assisting
  • HLT54115 Diploma of Nursing
  • CHC30113 Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care
  • CHC50113 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care
  • MEM40105 Certificate IV in Engineering
  • RII30915 Certificate III in Civil Construction
  • RII40715 Certificate IV in Civil Construction Supervision
  • SIT30116 Certificate III in Tourism
  • SIT30616 Certificate III in Hospitality
  • SIT30816 Certificate III in Commercial Cookery
  • TLI32515 Certificate III in Rail Infrastructure
  • 22320VIC Diploma of Justice
  • 22334VIC Certificate IV in Cyber Security

The free TAFE apprenticeship pathway courses in 2020 include:

  • AUR20218 Certificate II in Automotive Air Conditioning Technology
  • AUR20916 Certificate II in Automotive Body Repair Technology
  • AUR20516 Certificate II in Automotive Servicing Technology
  • AUR20716 Certificate II in Automotive Vocational Preparation
  • FBP20217 Certificate II in Baking
  • 22338VIC Certificate II in Building and Construction Pre-apprenticeship
  • CPC20211 Certificate II in Construction Pathways
  • 22261VIC Certificate II in Electrotechnology Studies (Pre-vocational)
  • UEE22011 Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start)
  • MEM20413 Certificate II in Engineering Pathways
  • 22470VIC Certificate II in Engineering Studies
  • MSF20313 Certificate II in Furniture Making
  • MSF20413 Certificate II in Glass and Glazing
  • AHC20416 Certificate II in Horticulture
  • AMP20117 Certificate II in Meat Processing (Food Services)
  • 22304VIC Certificate II in Plumbing (Pre-apprenticeship)
  • ICP20115 Certificate II in Printing and Graphic Arts (General)
  • AHC20716 Certificate II in Production Nursery
  • SHB20216 Certificate II in Salon Assistant
  • 22285VIC Certificate II in Signage and Graphics
Please note that not all courses are offered at all TAFE institutes.

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

Can I do a courses 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.

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