The Skills First program (formerly the Victorian Training Guarantee) is a Victorian Government scheme that aims to facilitate access to vocational education and training for people who do not hold a post-school qualification, or who want to gain a higher level qualification than they already hold.

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. Please note that Lyons College’s skills first training is delivered with Victorian and Commonwealth Government funding.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR GOVERNMENT-SUBSIDISED TRAINING PLACE

In order to be an Eligible Individual in respect of any training, an individual must be:

either:

  • An Australian citizen;
  • A holder of a permanent visa; or
  • A New Zealand citizen;

and:

  • A Victorian resident; or
  • Have a physical presence in Victoria;

and either:

  • Under 20 years of age (as at 1 January in the year of commencement of training) and enrolling in nationally recognised training;
  • Over 20 years of age (as at 1 January in the year of commencement of training) and enrolling in nationally recognised training in a Foundation Skills List course;
  • Over 20 years of age (as at 1 January in the year of commencement of training) and enrolling in nationally recognised training as an Apprentice (not Trainee);
  • Over 20 years of age (as at 1 January in the year of commencement of training) and enrolling in training in the Victorian Certificate of Education or the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (Intermediate or Senior); or
  • Over 20 years of age (as at 1 January in the year of commencement of training) and enrolling in nationally recognised training in a course that is at a higher qualification level than the highest qualification held at the time of the scheduled commencement of training.

 

In addition to meeting the above requirements, an individual is only eligible to:

Commence a maximum of two courses subsidised through the Skills First Program in a calendar year. Where an individual is enrolled in a course(s) that is scheduled to commence at a later date in that calendar year, this course(s) must be counted for the purpose of this clause when assessing eligibility;

  • Undertake a maximum of two courses subsidised through the Skills First Program at any one time;
  • Commence a maximum of two government subsidised courses at the same level within the AQF in their lifetime; and
  • Commence a maximum of two government subsidised accredited courses with the title ‘Course in…’ in their lifetime.

 

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.

ELIGIBILITY EXCLUSIONS


An individual is not eligible for training subsidized through the Skills First Program if the individual is:

a) 
Student enrolled in a school (excluding a school based Apprentice/Trainee). This includes:

(i) Any government, non-government, independent or Catholic school; or

(ii) A student registered for home schooling in Victoria.


Government schools are responsible for funding these opportunities for VET within the school curriculum through their Student Resource Package (SRP) allocation, including targeted VET in schools funding. Non-government schools make similar decisions for students on the basis of the resources available to them;

b) Within the meaning of the Corrections Act 1986 (Vic), a prisoner held at a prison, including:


i) Hopkins Correctional Centre (Ararat);

ii) Barwon Prison;

iii) Beechworth Correctional Centre;

iv) Dame Phyllis Frost Centre;

v) Dhurringile Prison;

vi) Langi Kal Kal Prison;

vii) Loddon Prison;

viii) Marngoneet Correctional Centre;

ix) Tarrengower Prison;

x) Metropolitan Remand Centre;

xi) Melbourne Assessment Prison;

xii) Fulham Correctional Centre; or

xiii) Port Phillip Prison;

 

c) A person who is detained under the Mental Health Act 1986 (Vic), or the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997 (Vic) or the Sentencing Act 1991 (Vic) at the Thomas Embling Hospital; or

 

d) A person who is detained (other than on weekend detention) under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (Vic) or the Sentencing Act 1991 (Vic) or who is held on remand in one or more of the following youth justice facilities:


i) Malmsbury Juvenile Justice Centre;

ii) Parkville Youth Residential Centre; or

iii) Melbourne Youth Justice Centre.

Skills First – what can a student enrol in?

Assuming a student meets the citizenship/residency criteria, there is one requirement and three limitations which apply in addition to that requirement.

Requirement Taking into account But not taking into account Why? Not applicable to
‘Upskilling’ The student must seek a qualification at a higher level than… The qualification(s) the student has already completed

(Including qualifications that were not government subsidised)

  • Completed VCE/VCAL, International Baccalaureate and senior secondary certificates from other Australian jurisdictions;
  • Completed Foundation Skills courses;
  • VET certificates completed as part of a senior secondary qualification;
  • Courses with the title ‘Course in…’; and
  • Overseas qualifications that are not formally deemed equivalent.
To encourage individuals to obtain progressively higher skills.
  • People under 20 years of age;
  • People seeking to enrol in Foundation Skills courses, unless they hold a Diploma or above or are in the Commonwealth ‘Skills for Education and Employment’ program;
  • People seeking to enrol in an Apprenticeship; and
  • People seeking to enrol in VCE/VCAL.
Limitation How many? Of what? Over what period? At what level? Not taking into account Why?
‘2 in a year’ The student may make a maximum of… 2 Commencements (government subsidised) In a calendar year. The limitation applies regardless of the level of the commencements.
  • Individuals transitioning from a superseded qualification to the current version of the same qualification
  • Individuals recommencing training in the same qualification (at either the same or a different provider)
  • Qualifications listed on the Approved Pre-Apprenticeship and Pathway Qualifications List for individuals seeking to enrol in an Apprenticeship.
To maximise course completions and encourage students to make informed decisions about their training and employment opportunities.
‘2 at a time’ The student may be undertaking a maximum of… 2 Courses (government subsidised) At any one time. The limitation applies regardless of the level of the commencements.
  • Individuals transitioning from a superseded qualification to the current version of the same qualification (at either the same or a different provider)
  • Individuals recommencing training in the same qualification
  • Qualifications listed on the Approved Pre-Apprenticeship and Pathway Qualifications list for individuals seeking to enrol in an Apprenticeship
To maximise course completions and encourage students to make informed decisions about their training and employment opportunities.
‘2 at level’ The student may make a maximum of… 2 Commencements (government subsidised) Across the lifetime of the student
  • at each level of the AQF;
  • in the ‘Courses in’ category (which are not mapped to the AQF)
  • VCE/VCAL; International Baccalaureate; and Senior Secondary non-Victorian
  • Foundation Skills courses;
  • VET certificates completed as part of a senior secondary qualification
  • Individuals transitioning from a superseded qualification to the current version of the same qualification
  • Individuals recommencing training in the same qualification (at either the same or a different provider)
To encourage individuals to obtain progressively higher skills.

For further information and for full eligibility requirements under Skills First Program, please refer to the Victorian Skills Gateway website