The Skills First Program
Now is the ideal time to make a start on gaining new skills, or upgrading your existing skills, to help you get the job you want.
The Skills First Program is making vocational training more accessible to people who do not hold a post-school qualification, or who want to gain a higher level qualification than they already hold.
There are now an unlimited number of government-subsidised training places available to people who meet the eligibility criteria.
Am I eligible for a government-subsidised training place?
Generally, you are eligible for a government-subsidised training place if you are:
- an Australian citizen
- an Australian Permanent Resident (holder of a permanent visa)
- a New Zealand citizen
and are any of the following:
- under 20 years of age (at 1st January 2021)
- over 20 yrs of age (at 1st January 2021) seeking to enrol in a Foundation Skills List course (and do not hold a Diploma or above qualification or are enrolled in the Commonwealth Government’s ‘Skills for Education and Employment’ program)
- over 20 yrs of age (at 1st January 2021) seeking to enrol in an apprenticeship
- over 20 yrs of age (at 1st January 2021) seeking to enrol in VCE or VCAL
- over 20 yrs of age (at 1st January 2021) and ‘upskilling’ by seeking to enrol in a course at a higher level than your existing qualification
If you are enrolled at a school, you will not be able to receive a government-subsidised training place for a course through the Skills First Program, unless you are undertaking the course as part of a School-Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship. The Government supports schools in other ways to offer vocational training to their students, so you should discuss all your options with your school.
How many courses am I eligible for?
You are eligible to commence a maximum of two government subsidised courses at the same level within the AQF in your lifetime. This restriction applies whether or not you complete the courses. For example, this means if you have already commenced two courses at the Certificate III level, you may only commence courses at the Certificate IV level (or above).
This restriction does not apply to courses on the Foundation Skills List or to students recommencing training in the same qualification (at the same or a different provider).
Under exceptional circumstances students may apply for an exemption to the rule allowing only two commencements at the same level, enabling them to enrol in a further qualification at the same level. No exemptions are available for any other eligibility criteria.
In addition, an individual is eligible to
a) commence a maximum of two courses subsidised through the Skills First Program in a calendar year
b) undertake a maximum of two courses subsidised through the Skills First Program at any one time
What if I want to study and I don’t meet the eligibility criteria?
You can still study at ITHEA if places are available, but you may not be able to access a government-subsidised place. You will be charged a full fee for service rate which can be found on the 2020 Indicative Fee Schedule for Local Students on our website.