Victoria has the most TAFE courses under Free TAFE scheme compared to other states. I found that the best TAFE school for the courses is Swinburne and Holmesglen since they don't charge the extra Student Service Fees so you can save hundreds of dollar on this fees. Some TAFE do charge extra material fees as well. Victoria even have a few diploma courses under Free TAFE as well.
For tech courses you can consider Swinburne, and you can consider Holmesglen Moorabbin for Cert 3 in Commercial Cookery (Le Cordon Bleu kitchen is also in this campus)
Some of the high value courses are Cert 4 in Cyber Security and Diploma of Nursing (this course is not cheap). Diploma of Nursing in Swinburne is 1.5year instead of 2years in other TAFE schools.
Cert 3 in Commercial Cookery in Holmesglen Moorabbin is also a good course with coffee units, artisan bread unit and even job placement program. You can also study the few extra Patisserie units to complete the Cert 3 in Patisserie as well (this will cost extra but not much since it is only like 6 units).
Because of COVID-19, we have another scheme called JobTrainer if you are unemployed (either under JobSeeker or not is not required) so you can take 2 courses if you are unemployed, 1 under JobTrainer and 1 under FreeTafe scheme. Upskill requirements can be exempted for FreeTafe and JobTrainer
The good thing with Swinburne and Holmesglen is they don't add extra or separate fees like Student Service Fee and Material Fee which is not covered under FreeTafe.
If you are in other state, you can consider moving to VIC to take the free TAFE courses since you will have much more courses to study than other states.
Any Australian citizen or permanent resident or a New Zealand citizen is eligible to do one Free TAFE for priority course in Victoria if they meet the following criteria:
- under 20 or upskilling
- aged under 20 (regardless of any other qualifications they might hold)
- are 20 or older and enrolling in a course that is a higher qualification than the highest qualification previously attained
- Victorians who need additional support
Victorians who are:
- unemployed and clients of the Jobs Victoria Employment Network
- retrenched workers
- automotive supply chain workers
- looking to change careers
- Victorians who want to reskill, change careers, improve their employment prospects and/or meet the needs of local industries, subject to availability of TAFE places, and prioritised based on need. It is expected that priority will be given to people impacted by the coronavirus, such as women, young people and migrants, and other vulnerable people.
There is another scheme called SkillFirst which will requires you to upskill only, i.e you can only eligible to study higher cert level that you have already completed and there is a limit of 2 per year and a few other requirements.
I have found some provider provide Skill First courses free as well like Construction courses (some excavator training… in the course) and Telecommunication courses (i.e you can work for NBN installer or other cabling technician). You need to plan which course level you want to do first if you want to take up this scheme.
FOR EMPLOYER: For those who are looking for jobs, there is wage subsidy scheme for 10k grant for employer to employ someone who is on Jobseeker for 6+ month. This maybe something that you can bring up to employer or if you can consider if you are employer
Free TAFE course list
The following skill set is free at TAFE, though it does not form part of the Free TAFE course list. Taking this skill set will not impact your Free TAFE entitlement.