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More Free TAFE Opportunities for Victorians

An image of a group of Aged Care students gathered around a patient lying in a hospital bed with a teacher showing how to use a patient hoist.
Students from Melbourne Polytechnic's Greensborough campus learning in the Aged Care Simulation Suite

Recent changes to eligibility criteria for Free TAFE means that more access and study opportunities for Victorians are now on offer at Melbourne Polytechnic.  

Free TAFE courses are Tuition Free studies that allow students to gain in-demand skills.

This initiative is part of a commitment by the Victorian Government to provide subsidised training for Australian citizens, permanent residents or New Zealand citizens.  This means students will face less of a financial barrier to train in courses that lead to occupations that are needed by employers in the Victorian economy.  Note, however, there may be an Amenities and Materials fee applicable to some courses. 

Free TAFE includes Certificates and Diplomas for priority industries, non-apprenticeship courses and courses that provide pathways to apprenticeships (also known as ‘pre-apprenticeships’).   

The removal of the following eligibility criteria means that an additional 2 million Victorians will now have access to government-funded courses under the Skills First training and Free TAFE program.  

Removal of age restriction for upskilling purposes 

Previously, students over 20 years of age were required to be enrolling in progressively higher qualifications to be eligible for Skills First training.  The ‘upskilling’ requirement is no longer in place regardless of a student’s age at time of enrolment. 

Removal of ‘2 at level in a lifetime limit’   

Students are now eligible to study more than one subsided course at the same AQF level in their lifetime.  However, students can only undertake 2 AQF Qualifications and 2 Skill Sets in the same calendar year and no more than 2 at any one time. 

Change to ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ limit for some Free TAFE Programs 

A student may only receive a Free TAFE Fee Waiver for a commencement in one program on the Free-TAFE for Priorities Course List.  However, a student can access an additional Fee Waiver if: 

  • The only previous Free TAFE Fee Waiver they received was for a commencement under the Job Trainer Initiative; or 
  • They have previously commenced or completed a program (whether Government-subsidised, including under Free TAFE, or Fee for Service) that is part of a Free TAFE Pathways Program and are commencing another Free TAFE program in the same Pathway. 

Employment prospects and more information  

Free TAFE courses lead to occupations in industries where there are likely to be more jobs. Some of them lead to work in key areas such as family violence prevention, rolling out the National Disability Insurance Scheme in Victoria and delivering major infrastructure projects.  

Find out more about the industries and courses available at Melbourne Polytechnic’s Free TAFE webpage, call the TAFE and Training line on 13 18 23 or email to discuss your eligibility requirements.