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If you’ve been considering undertaking a VET course, you’ve most definitely considered how much said course will cost, how you will pay for it and your funding options. VET courses can be very expensive, with fees ranging from AUD$4000 to $22,000 per year. Higher-level vocational courses, including vocational graduate certificates and diplomas, may have even higher fees. For some, this makes it completely impossible to study a vocational course. That’s why it’s important to check if your institution offers government funding and if you’re eligible to receive it. Government funding options vary from state to state, so it’s important that you look into the state that you’ll be studying in. Victoria’s government funding initiative is called The Skills First Program.

What Is The Skills First Program?

The Skills First Program is the Victorian Government funding initiative that launched in January 2017 which gives eligible students access to subsidised training and aims to support those courses which are most likely to lead to employment. So, what does this mean? Essentially, the Victorian Government pays for some or all of your course fees for your chosen course, if you’re eligible that is. Skills Firstprovides real training for real jobs through:

  • High-quality training that students and industry can trust, aligned to industry and workforce needs.
  • A real voice for industry in training
  • Funding for high needs learners who need additional support to engage with and succeed in education and training.
  • Access to targeted, relevant training for students in regional areas.
  • Funding is only provided for training that meets the needs of students, industry and the economy.

Skills First ensures Victoria can provide the skilled workers needed for the six sectors primed for major job growth: medical technology and pharmaceuticals, new energy technology, food and fibre, transport, defence and construction technology, international education and professional services.

To be eligible for a government funded training position, you need to meet a certain criteria.

What Is The Eligibility Criteria For Victorian Government Funding?

To be eligible for Victorian Government funding, you must:

  • Have physical presence in Victoria while undertaking the Qualification
  • Be Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or New Zealand citizen
  • Commence a maximum of 2 government subsidised courses in a year
  • Undertake a maximum of 2 government subsidised courses at any one time
  • Commence a maximum of 2 government subsidised courses at the same level within the AQF in their lifetime
  • All candidates under 20 years of age
  • Candidates 20 years and older and ‘upskilling’ by seeking to enrol in a course at a higher level than their existing qualification
Are My Tuition Fees Fully Covered By Government Funding?

Your course tuition fees include fees that may be covered under The Skills First Program, if you’re an eligible student, as well as fees that aren’t covered under government funding schemes such as administration charges, amenities, and goods or materials, etc. Different courses have different tuition fees. For more information on KAL Training’s student course tuition fees, please click here.

What Are Concession Tuition Fees?

Concession tuition fees are discounted tuition fees for government subsidised training places. With KAL Training, concessions on tuition fees are available for the following eligible students for Certificate I – IV courses:

  • Commonwealth Health Care Card holders, and their dependent children and dependant spouses
  • Pensioner Concession Card holders, and their dependent children and dependant spouses. Veteran’s Gold Card holders (but not their dependants)
  • An alternative card or concession eligibility criterion approved by the Minister for the purposes of these Guidelines
  • Undertake a maximum of 2 government subsidised courses at any one time
  • Concessions for applicants that meet the government subsidised funding criteria mean course fees payable are equal to 20 per cent of published standard Skills First Tuition fee

It’s important to note that enrolmentfor eligible students is under The Skills First Program and may impact access to further government subsidised training. For above Card Holders, concessions do not apply to Diploma and Advanced Diploma level qualifications.


It’s definitely worth looking into your eligibility for government funding when considering undertaking a VET study. KAL Training offer a wide-range of courses and offer Victorian Government funding to those eligible. Take a look at our courses and funding information. If you have any enquiries, please call us at 1800-244-438.