How to check your eligibility

Not everyone can do Skills First training. Your eligibility depends on lots of things, including:

  • your age
  • what training you’ve done before or are doing now
  • when you did this training

If you think you are eligible, you must contact the training provider before you apply for a course. It will confirm your eligibility and check if there’s a Skills First place available.

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Am I eligible?



To be eligible for Skills First training, you must be:

  • an Australian citizen, or
  • an Australian permanent resident, or
  • a New Zealand citizen
Asylum seekers

If you are an asylum seeker, you may be eligible under the Asylum seeker VET program.

Overseas students

If you are an overseas student, you are not eligible for Skills First training, but you may be able to get other government assistance. See the Australian Government Study Assist  page for more information.


Skills First prioritises training for young people (under 20), Apprenticeships and Foundation Skills, and otherwise requires students do progressively higher qualifications to be eligible.

If you are under 20 years old or eligible under the JobTrainer Fund (see below) you can do Skills First training at any level .

If you are 20 years or over, you can usually only do Skills First training at a higher level than any qualification you already have. For example, if you have a Certificate III, you can’t do a subsidised Certificate II course. (Exemption for those under 25 years per JobTrainer below.)

You can also do Skills First training in skill sets. These are accredited short courses to help with quick and flexible training for skills shortages and workforce demands. When you do a skill set, your age and what level of qualification you already have doesn’t affect whether you are eligible.

How much Skills First training can i do?

There are also limits on how much Skills First training you can do. The limits are:

  • You can’t start* more than 2 qualifications in a year
  • You can’t start* more than 2 skill sets in a year
  • You can’t do more than 2 Skills First qualifications or skill sets at the same time
  • If you’ve already started* up to two government-subsidised qualifications at the same level in your lifetime you can’t do another Skills First qualification at that level

These limits encourage you to make informed decisions about your training and employment opportunities, and finish your training.

*This includes courses you start but don’t finish.

You might still get Skills First



Even if you aren’t eligible, you might be able to get an exemption that allows you do Skills First training.

There are also some Skills First courses where some of the eligibility criteria don’t apply or where you might be able to get your training for free or at a lower cost.

For more information contact a training provider or your local Skills and Jobs Centre.

Job seekers, young people and concession card holders

The Victorian Government has partnered with the Commonwealth Government to jointly invest up to $260 million under the JobTrainer Fund to increase access to training for Victorians who have been most impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Under JobTrainer, you can access fee or low-free (concession) qualifications and skill sets in key industries and occupations if you are:

  • a job seeker; or
  • aged between 17 to 24; or
  • hold a valid concession card.

For more details about this training, see JobTrainer.

Check your eligibility with the training provider

When you apply for a Skills First course, the training provider will check and confirm your eligibility. To do this, they’ll ask you for documents, including proof of your citizenship or residency and details about any study you’ve done.

It’s a good idea to check with the training provider to find out if they offer any exemptions from the eligibility criteria.

More help and information


For more information about Skills First training and eligibility, contact the TAFE and Training Line.

If you are not eligible for Skills First, you may be able to get other government assistance while you study.