Free TAFE Courses

Upskill or start a new career. Free TAFE courses prepare you for jobs that are in-demand by employers. 

 

Are you ready to start a TAFE course? You can enrol in your first Free TAFE course regardless of your prior qualifications. 

Free TAFE can help cover the cost of tuition for selected courses. See if you meet the eligibility criteria below.

 

Eligibility criteria

Residential status: Any Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or New Zealand citizen is eligible for a Free TAFE in Victoria.

Previous qualification: You can do your first Free TAFE course no matter what qualifications you already hold. This applies to all qualifications - whether they be through TAFE or university. This is because the 'upskilling rule' has been removed.

Multiple Free TAFE courses: You can do multiple Free TAFE courses in the same occupational pathway listed under 'Free TAFE Priority Pathways' below. 

This is because the 'once-in-a-lifetime limit' requirement for Free TAFE has now been removed for Priority Pathways.

Note: Students who choose a Free TAFE course that is not part of a Priority Pathway can only study one Free TAFE course.

Students whose only Free TAFE fee waiver was under JobTrainer can do another Free TAFE course, either in a pathway or non-pathway program.

Free TAFE priority pathways do not include apprenticeship pathway courses.

See the Priority Pathway Scenarios section below for examples of students eligible for Free TAFE. 

While Free TAFE covers tuition fees, there may be additional expenses, such as materials fees. Call 13 TAFE (13 8233) or contact us via our online enquiry form if you are unsure.


Free TAFE Courses at Bendigo TAFE

(In alphabetical order)

  • Certificate III In Commercial Cookery
    Code : SIT30821
    Length : 

    Full Time Standard Student (TAFE based student) - 1 year,  Apprenticeship - 2 to 3 Years 

    Campus : Bendigo City Campus, Echuca Campus, Bendigo City Campus, Echuca Campus, Echuca Campus
  • Certificate III In Commercial Cookery
    Code : SIT30821
    Length : 

    Full Time Standard Student (TAFE based student) - 1 year,  Apprenticeship - 2 to 3 Years 

    Campus : Bendigo City Campus, Echuca Campus, Bendigo City Campus, Echuca Campus, Echuca Campus
  • Diploma Of Justice
    Code : 22594VIC
    Length : 

    1 year full time

    18 months part time

    Campus : Bendigo City Campus, Bendigo City Campus, Bendigo City Campus
  • Certificate III in Concreting
    Code : CPC30320
    Length : ,

    1 year

    Campus : Bendigo Charleston Road Campus, Bendigo Charleston Road Campus, Bendigo Charleston Road Campus, Bendigo Charleston Road Campus, Bendigo Charleston Road Campus
  • Certificate III in Concreting
    Code : CPC30320
    Length : ,

    1 year

    Campus : Bendigo Charleston Road Campus, Bendigo Charleston Road Campus, Bendigo Charleston Road Campus, Bendigo Charleston Road Campus, Bendigo Charleston Road Campus
  • Course in Identifying and Responding to Family Violence Risk
    Code : 22510VIC
    Length : 

    11 weeks

    Campus : Bendigo City Campus
  • Diploma Of Community Services
    Code : CHC52021
    Length : 

    21 months.

    Campus : Bendigo City Campus, Bendigo City Campus
  • Certificate IV in Mental Health
    Code : CHC43315
    Length : 

    11 months

    Campus : 
  • Diploma of Community Services

    Our Diploma of Community Services is designed to provide you with knowledge and skills in community development, casework and group work. This community services course prepares you to work as a social welfare worker, and provides you with an understanding of human rights, cultural inclusion, Indigenous culture, issues and strategies for effective service delivery.

    Our Diploma of Community Services is also ACWA (Australian Community Workers Association) Accredited.

    This qualification reflects the roles of community services, case management and social housing workers involved in the managing, coordinating and/or delivering of person-centered services to individuals, groups and communities. At this level, workers have specialized skills in community services and work autonomously under broad directions from senior management. Workers are usually providing direct support to individuals or groups of individuals. Workers may also have responsibility for the supervision of other workers and volunteers and/or case management; program coordination or the development of new business opportunities.

    Special note: Prior to undertaking clinical work placement all students must obtain an International Police Check, Victorian Police Check and Working with Children Clearance (WWCC). Students will be responsible for the costs associated with requirements. If placements are taken outside of Bendigo any accommodation costs that may be incurred will be the responsibility of the student.

    Our course delivery features a combination of on-campus and remote (online) learning. This flexibility allows our students to continue to study in a safe, guided and supported manner.

    To enroll with Bendigo TAFE, you are no longer mandated to have evidence of your COVID 19 Vaccination. It is important to note that as a part of your studies, you will be required to complete a placement component. While no longer mandated, individual Placement hosts will be guided by their individual policies and procedures in relation to vaccination requirements for staff and students. Students who are attending a community services organisation for placement purposes will need to comply with the policies and procedures of their host service.

    Modes of Study

    This course requires face to face classroom study and compulsory work placement (arranged by Bendigo TAFE) of 400 hours.

    students must be able to undertake 2 x 5½ week placement blocks. Each placement block is full-time during business hours (Monday-Friday). There are no scheduled classes during this time.

    Bendigo TAFE's Placement Support Officer will assist students with their placement needs in approved host organisations. Bendigo TAFE will make efforts to secure all students an appropriate placement.

    Student may be asked to travel up to 45 minutes to 1 hour to attend placement.

    Once enrolled - if you work in the industry you may contact the Placement Team about undertaking the placement with your employer - provided they meet the host requirements.

    It is a practical placement requirement to have a Satisfactory National Police Check and Working With Children Check.

    There may be additional placement requirements that the Placement Team will discuss with you shortly after course commencement. This could include things such as infection control training, resume writing, police check disclosures, etc.

    Students need to provide evidence of their COVID19 vaccination. Students will be required to follow workplace requirements regarding COVID19 measures. Updated details regarding COVID19 requirements will be advised throughout.

    A Placement Logbook will be provided to students to record their placement hours and tasks.

    Students located out of the regional Bendigo area will be required to discuss placement host opportunities with the Placement Team. Please note that additional travel time may be required for you to undertake placement.

    Major study areas

    • Communication skills
    • Sociology
    • Case management
    • Community and program development
    • Counselling skills
    • Trauma informed care
    • Workplace debriefing and support
    • Mental Health
    • Alcohol and other drugs
    • Legal and ethical compliance
    • Family violence
    • Work health and safety
    ','
    • Classroom
    • Work placement
    Code : CHC52021
    CRICOS Code : 115143G
    Length : 

    21 months

    Campus : Bendigo City Campus, Bendigo City Campus

Free TAFE Priority Pathways  

 
Following are Victoria's Free TAFE Priority Pathway courses. The courses with (n/a) are not offered at Bendigo TAFE.  You can continue to study your Priority Pathway at Bendigo TAFE even if you have started the Pathway at another institute. 

 

Accounting

Certificate IV In Accounting And Bookkeeping

Diploma Of Accounting

Agriculture

Certificate II in Agriculture (n/a)

Certificate III in Agriculture

Certificate III in Dairy Production (n/a)

Certificate IV In Agriculture

Allied Health and Nursing

Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance (offered as VET Delivered to Secondary Students - VETDSS)

Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance

Diploma Of Nursing

Building and Construction

Certificate III in Concreting

Certificate III in Construction Waterproofing

Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services

Diploma of Building and Construction (Building)

Advanced Diploma of Building Surveying (n/a)

Community Services

Certificate III in Community Services *not available for new enrolments (n/a)

Certificate IV In Community Services

Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs (n/a)

Certificate IV in Child, Youth and Family Intervention (n/a)

Certificate IV in Mental Health

Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work (n/a)

Certificate IV in Youth Work (n/a)

Diploma Of Community Services

Dental

Certificate III In Dental Assisting

Certificate IV in Dental Assisting 

Education Support

Certificate III in School Based Education Support

Certificate IV in School Based Education Support

Early Childhood

Certificate III In Early Childhood Education And Care

Diploma Of Early Childhood Education And Care

Information Technology

Certificate III in Information Technology

Certificate IV in Cyber Security (n/a)

Nursing and Personal Care

Certificate III in Individual Support

Certificate IV in Ageing Support (n/a)

Certificate IV in Leisure and Health (n/a)

Certificate IV in Disability

Diploma Of Nursing

Civil construction

Certificate III in Civil Construction (n/a)

Certificate III in Civil Construction (Plant Operations) (n/a)

Certificate IV Civil Construction Supervision (n/a)

Auslan

Diploma of Auslan (n/a)

Diploma of Interpreting (Auslan) (n/a)

Advanced Diploma of Interpreting (Auslan) (n/a)




Priority Pathway Scenarios

(View some example cases of students who qualify for Free TAFE Pathway Programs)

Scenario 1

John finished Year 12 last year and has found a job at a vet clinic.  He enjoys working with animals and wants to pursue a career in Vet Nursing.  He does his research finds the most suitable course for him would be Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing, a Free TAFE course.

Is John eligible to undertake this course?

Yes, he is eligible to undertake this course if he meets all the pre-enrolment requirements for the course.  As this is a Free TAFE, John will not have to pay any tuition fees, but he will be required to pay other fees such as materials and consumables.

Scenario 2

Rita has completed a bachelor’s degree in arts and wants a career change. She is interested in studying Information Technology and chooses to study Certificate III in Information Technology, which has a pathway into Certificate IV in Cyber Security. Both these courses are on the Free TAFE list.

Is Rita eligible to undertake these courses?

Yes, she can undertake these courses provided that she enrols in the Certificate III in Information Technology first and completes the course and gets her certificate.  She can then enrol in the Certificate IV in Cyber Security.  Both are Free TAFE courses, therefore she does not pay tuition fees for both the courses but may be required to pay materials and consumables. Rita needs to ensure that she does not commence more than 2 government subsidised courses in the calendar year.

Scenario 3

Sarah is 48 and has 2 Diplomas, 1 Certificate IV and 2 Certificate III qualifications which she has obtained through her work and studies.  In 2023, she found out about Free TAFE and Pathway Programs.  She is interested in becoming a Community Worker. She would like to study Certificate IV in Community Services knowing there are multiple pathways that she can pursue when she finishes the Certificate IV in Community Services.

Is Sarah eligible to get Free TAFE and enrol in the pathway courses?

Yes, she is eligible to enrol in a Free TAFE course and move into the Pathways courses once she completes her Certificate IV provided she does not commence more than 2 government subsidised courses in 2023.

Scenario 1

Terry enrolled in Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping in 2022 which was a Free TAFE course. In 2023 he wants to upskill and do another Free TAFE.

Is Terry eligible for a second Free TAFE?

As Terry has used his entitlement to a Free TAFE in 2022, he is not eligible to receive another Free TAFE but if he enrols in an Accounting Pathway course such as a Diploma of Accounting, he can be eligible for a Free TAFE.

Scenario 2

Ali has accessed Free TAFE to complete a Certificate III in Hospitality in 2021. He has also completed a Certificate III in Concreting through fee-for-service training in 2022.

Is Ali eligible to receive another Free TAFE?

Ali has used up his entitlement to a Free TAFE in 2021. But as his second qualification is a concreting qualification which is part of the Building and Construction Pathway, he can choose to study subsequent courses in this Pathway, such as the Certificate IV in Building and Construction and Diploma of Building and Construction, provided his completes the Certificate IV level before he enrols for the Diploma level.  



Frequently Asked Questions

Free TAFE is a Victorian Government program that will pay your tuition fees to study in selected courses at TAFE for eligible students.

While Free TAFE covers tuition fees, there may be additional expenses, such as student services fees or materials fees. Call 13 TAFE (13 8233) or contact us via our online enquiry form if you are unsure.

Residential status: Any Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or New Zealand citizen is eligible for a Free TAFE in Victoria.

Previous qualification: You can do your first Free TAFE course no matter what qualifications you already hold. This applies to all qualifications - whether they be through TAFE or university. This is because the 'upskilling rule' has been removed.

Multiple Free TAFE courses: You can do multiple Free TAFE courses in the same occupational pathway listed under 'Free TAFE Priority Pathways' below. 

This is because the 'once-in-a-lifetime limit' requirement for Free TAFE has now been removed for Priority Pathways.

Note: Students who choose a Free TAFE course that is not part of a Priority Pathway can only study one Free TAFE course.

Students whose only Free TAFE fee waiver was under JobTrainer can also do another Free TAFE course, either in a pathway or non-pathway program.

Free TAFE priority pathways do not include apprenticeship pathway courses.

Free TAFE courses are periodically revised to include courses from growth industries, such as Early Childhood Education, Health, Construction and Infrastructure, Agriculture, and Community and Disability Services.

See the Free TAFE course list above for the updated courses offered at our TAFE.

You can do tuition free priority courses at Victorian TAFE institutes, including universities that offer TAFE courses.

To find a course near you, contact the Training and TAFE line on 131 823.

  • If you are eligible, Free TAFE pays the tuition fees for your whole course.
  • TAFEs may charge you other fees, such as student services fees or materials fees that you will have to cover yourself.

  • Only the courses on the Free TAFE course list will be tuition fee-free, but there are around 1,000 courses you can do at TAFEs and other training providers that are Victorian Government-subsidised.
  • While some tuition fees may apply for Victorian Government-subsidised training, you may be eligible for a concession.
  • Check the Victorian Skills Gateway to find Victorian Government-subsidised courses near you (Search the internet for ‘Victorian Skills Gateway’) and your training provider can check if you are eligible for a concession.

  • Victorian Government-subsidised training is when the Government pays a large portion of the cost of your training if you are eligible, and you make a contribution, by paying fees. It's been around for a while and there are around 1,000 subsidised courses you can do at TAFEs and other training providers.
  • The courses on the Free TAFE list are subsidised, but the Government will also pay your tuition fees, if you’re eligible.

  • The tuition-free priority courses are in areas where there are likely to be more jobs in the future.
  • When you finish your course, a Skills and Jobs Centre can help you search for a job and support you to prepare your resume. (Search the internet for ‘Victorian Skills and Job Centres’.)

Students can only access one Free TAFE course in their lifetime, except in the following circumstances.

  • Students who have completed a pathway course under Free TAFE can do another Free TAFE course in the same pathway
  • Students who have already accessed Free TAFE, including for a non-pathway course, can do another Free TAFE course if they hold a qualification that is part of a Free TAFE pathway and are continuing in the same pathway. It does not matter if their previous qualification was completed by government-subsidised or fee-for-service training.
  • Students whose only Free TAFE fee waiver was under JobTrainer can do another Free TAFE course, either in a pathway program, or in one additional non-pathway program.

  • Courses undertaken as Free TAFE are treated the same way as any other course you have undertaken, for the purpose of determining whether you are eligible for further Victorian Government-subsidised training.
  • Your TAFE will be able to tell you about whether you will have future Victorian Government-subsidised training options.

Contact the Training and TAFE line on 131 823 or visit www.TAFE.vic.gov.au.