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Skills Ready

Level up your career with Skills Ready, with free and half price courses making your training affordable and accessible so you can boost your skills and be job ready.

Whether you're looking for a job, thinking about a career change, or upskilling for the next step in your career, now's the time to get skills ready!

Exciting news for 2023!

Selected full qualifications will be 100% course fee-free and all Job Ready short course skill sets will be fully fee-free from 1 January 2023! And in even better news, the eligibility criteria for this free training is being expanded so that more people living in Western Australia can access the free courses.

This free training will focus on priority industry areas to help build WA's skilled workforce, support our employers and businesses, and create employment and career opportunities for all Western Australians.

See the full list of all the FREE IN '23 courses

Please note that some eligibility criteria apply for free training, and resource fees apply for the free qualifications. Please see our FAQs for details.
  

How to find the free and half prices courses on our website

Look out for the Free in 2023 and half price icons throughout our website. 
      

Grab your place — apply or enrol now!

To find out about how to apply or enrol, follow the links within the course page study options.

If you want to study full time at TAFE, you may need to apply through TAFE Admissions. For more information, visit our Apply and Enrol page.

Free* in 2023 courses

From 1 January study in an exciting range of courses is free to more Western Australians. Level up your career to the types of skills needed right now and for future jobs.

Free qualifications and skill sets developed from nationally recognised vocational training are now available to eligible students, with on-campus and online study options. * Resource fees apply.

Half price* courses

The Lower Fees, Local Skills program started with 34 half price course fees qualifications in 2019, then from 2 July 2020, an additional 34 qualifications were added to the list, and finally from 1 January 2021 another 70 courses were also added. Half price means the courses are half price tuition fees, and if you're eligible, your fees can even be capped at $400! Check your eligibility, then explore the courses. 

Check your eligibility

Do you live in WA? Do you have Australian, New Zealand citizenship or have a visa? Do you receive JobSeeker, Youth Allowance, AUSTUDY or ABSTUDY, or are you a concession cardholder or aged 15 to 24 years old? Or a dependent of someone who is? You could be eligible for free and half price courses. Check your eligibility and instructions on how to prove it before you apply. 

Get Skills Ready online

Learning online can be a great way to get skills ready — from the comfort of your own home or workplace. Plus, with eCampus, you have access to a virtual classroom including online discussions, online chats, journals and blogs, social media, quizzes, web quests and project activities to keep things interesting. To find out more about studying online at SM TAFE, visit eCampus now.

Infection control skill sets

Get job ready to safely manage infection control in the workplace with skill sets matched to the skills WA employers are looking for in key areas such as aged care, disability support, retail, hospitality, transport and logistics. 

Each skill set contains selected units of competency from nationally accredited and recognised vocational qualifications and some are absolutely free to study online.

Job ready skill sets

Job Ready skill sets can help you get ready for your first job, develop a specialisation or re-skill quickly for an exciting new career. 

They've been developed in consultation with businesses and employers to deliver fast track training that will get you skills ready for jobs in areas including hospitality, health care, retail, business, cyber security, agriculture and construction... and many more. 

Frequently asked questions

The most common answers to questions about the Skills Ready program are below. If you need assistance with your own questions about how our courses will be delivered, eligibility or fees, call 1800 001 001.

Your local Jobs and Skills Centre can assist with free advice and information about choosing the right option to get you skills ready — call them on 13 64 64 or find your local JSC and visit in person.

General questions: Free and reduced-fee training courses

From 1 January 2023, Job Ready skill sets will be 100% fee-free for everyone*. All fees are 100 per cent subsidised by the WA State Government, so that there is no cost to you.

From 1 January 2023, course fees selected qualifications will also be free for everyone*. There may be some additional fees that apply for these qualifications — please see the FAQs below about fees. 

*Some eligibility conditions apply for the free training from 1 January 2023. Please refer to the information under Who can access subsidised training such as the free or reduced-fee qualifications? below.
 

Free courses available from 1 January 2023 

  • If you commenced units in a course or skill set prior to it becoming free from 1 January 2023, you will pay the regular course fee rate for those units until 31 December 2022. Training will become fee-free from 1 January 2023.
  • If you commence units in a course or skill set on or after 1 January 2023, you will be eligible for a refund if you paid fees previous to that date.

If you think you may have overpaid for your course, please contact us to request a review of your payment and a refund if applicable.
 

Yes! Up until 31 December 2022, some of the Job Ready skill sets are totally free for everyone eligible students*! Where it says a Job Ready skill set is “free for everyone”, you do not have to be aged 15—24, or on a concession — all fees are 100 per cent subsidised by the WA State Government, through Jobs and Skills WA, so that there is no cost to you. 

From 1 January 2023, all of the Job Ready skill sets will be 100% fee-free for everyone*. 

*Please note: Some eligibility conditions apply for the free training. Please refer to the information under Who can access subsidised training such as the free or reduced-fee qualifications? below.

The WA State Government, through Jobs and Skills WA, subsidises vocational education and training (VET) courses in priority areas, to reduce or remove the fees and make training more accessible to all Western Australians. 

You are eligible for a subsidised training place if you have left school*, your primary place of residence is in Western Australia, and you are:

  • an Australian citizen; or
  • a permanent visa holder or holder of visa subclass 309, 444, 785, 790 or 820;
  • a dependent or spouse of the primary holder of a visa subclass 457; or
  • a Bridging Visa E holder (subclasses 050 and 051) and you have made a valid application for a visa of subclass 785 or 790.

*In 2022, Year 12 school students who are leaving school can access a subsidised training place from 24 October 2022.

From 1 January 2023, the spouses and dependants of primary 482/457 visa holders will be able to access subsidised training in WA. These skilled migrant families will be further supported by waiving public school fees for their children during 2023.

The WA State Government, through Jobs and Skills WA, subsidises vocational education and training (VET) courses in priority areas, to reduce or remove the fees and make training more accessible to all Western Australians. 

Through to 31 December 2022, the Job Ready skill sets available under Skills Ready are fee-free to the following concession-eligible residents of Western Australia.

  • Persons aged 15—24 years at the time of enrolment (excluding students enrolled at school*)
  • Persons and dependents of persons in receipt of services from Commonwealth support or employment services programs Workforce Australia, or ParentsNext
  • Persons and dependents of persons receiving the Youth Allowance, AUSTUDY or ABSTUDY
  • Persons and dependents of persons holding a pensioner concession card or Health Care Card; or a Repatriation Health Benefits Card issued by the Department of Veterans' Affairs
  • Dependents of persons who are inmates of a custodial institution

*In 2022, Year 12 school students who are leaving school can access a subsidised training place from 24 October 2022.

The following people will be eligible for the $400 course fees cap under Lower fees, local skills

  • People aged 15—24 years at the time of enrolment (excluding students enrolled at school)
  • People and dependents of people in receipt of services from one of the following Commonwealth support or employment services programs:
    • Jobactive
    • Online Employment Services
    • ParentsNext
  • People and dependents of people receiving the Youth Allowance, AUSTUDY or ABSTUDY
  • People and dependents of people holding:
    • a pensioner concession card or Health Care Card; or
    • a repatriation health benefits card issued by the Department of Veterans' Affairs; or
  • Dependents of people who are inmates of a custodial institution

For more details about how the half price course fees and annual fees cap work, please read our FAQs.   

Please note that only course fees are half price for the Lower fees, local skills qualifications. You may be required to pay other fees that apply to your course. Please check our FAQs for further information.  

This will depend on the qualification or course you choose. 

Free Job Ready skill sets from 1 January 2023
All of the Job Ready skill sets are 100% FEE-FREE from 1 January 2023 for all* students. You will pay no course fees, resource fees, or any other fees.

Free qualifications (from 1 January 2023)
For the free qualifications starting from 1 January 2023, there is no course fee cost*. Other fees, such as for resources, may apply.

Lower fees, local skills qualifications
Other fees, such as resource fees, may apply to some of the Lower fees, local skills qualifications. 

What are resource fees?

Resource fees cover materials purchased by the TAFE or training provider that are required for and used during your training; such as workshop materials, workbooks and essential uniforms. For example; you may need to use timber for a course in carpentry — you would pay a resource fee to cover this cost. 

*Please note: Some eligibility conditions apply for the free and/or subsidised training. Please refer to the information under Who can access subsidised training such as the free or reduced-fee qualifications?

Fees for vocational education and training courses are set by the Department of Training and Workforce Development's VET fees and charges policy(opens in a new tab) .

Skill sets

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) — the national regulator for vocational education and training (VET) — defines a skill set as follows.

"A single unit of competency or a combination of units of competency from a training package which link to a licensing or regulatory requirement, or a defined industry need."

In VET, a qualification or course is made up of a number of units of competency, and each of those units has defined learning outcomes based on the skills and knowledge it covers. A skill set is developed by choosing individual units of competency that target a specific set of skills and knowledge, to meet the needs of industry or a particular job role.

Skill sets are also used to upskill workers in situations where a full qualification is not required — for example; if cleaning staff at a hospital needed to learn about infection control, or if office workers needed to learn some management skills.

Because skill sets are based on nationally accredited units of competency, when you successfully complete a skill set short course those units can count towards a full qualification if you decide to do further study.

Because the skill sets are not a full qualification, you will not receive a certificate.

You will receive a Statement of Attainment that lists all of the units of competency you completed in the skill set. This statement is recognised nationally as an official record. It verifies that you have completed those units, so you can receive credit for them should you continue on to further study.

Yes, completing a skill set is a great way to find out whether this is the industry area for you, and decide if you want to do further study and gain a full qualification.

The Skills Ready skill sets contain units of competency taken from nationally recognised vocational education and training (VET) qualifications. This means they work perfectly as a pathway to further study.

Explore the course pages to see the possible pathways for each of the skill sets.

The Statement of Attainment you receive on completion of a skill set verifies that you have completed those units, so you will receive credit for them should you continue on to further study.

Lower fees, local skills — Reduced fees qualifications

The Lower fees, local skills program commenced on 1 January 2020, with half price course fees to be in place for eligible courses.

For a full list of all qualifications on the Lower fees, local skills program, visit Lower Fees Local Skills courses.

The "annual fees cap" means that regardless of how much your annual course fees actually are, under Lower fees, local skills you will not pay more than the capped amount. There are two course fee caps, which one you pay depends on whether you are entitled to receive a concession rate or are aged at least 15 years of age but have not reached the end of the year in which you turn 25. 

On 1 July 2020, a further 39 qualifications were added to Lower fees, local skills — fee caps for these courses apply from that date (1 July 2020).

On 1 January 2021, 107 additional qualifications will be added to the Lower fees, local skills program. Fee caps for these courses apply from 1 January 2021

  • The concession rate annual course fee cap for Lower fees, local skills qualifications is $400 from the date the new fee applied. 
  • The non-concession rate course fee cap for Lower fees, local skills qualifications is $1,200 from the date the new fee applied.

The following people will be entitled to the $400 concession rate course fees cap:

  • People aged 15—24 years at the time of enrolment (excluding students enrolled at school)
  • People and dependents of people receiving JobKeeper payment
  • People and dependents of people in receipt of services from one of the following Commonwealth support or employment services programs:
    • Jobactive
    • Online Employment Services
    • ParentsNext
  • People and dependents of people receiving the Youth Allowance, AUSTUDY or ABSTUDY
  • People and dependents of people holding:
    • a pensioner concession card or Health Care Card; or
    • a repatriation health benefits card issued by the Department of Veterans' Affairs; or
  • Dependents of people who are inmates of a custodial institution

The annual course fee caps under Lower fees, local skills are applied at qualification/course level for the calendar year.

For example; if you complete two courses in one year, the course fees will be capped for each course.

Under Lower fees, local skills the $400 course fee cap applies to units of competency that are commenced by concession students, and by people aged between 15 and 24 years.

If you are turning 25 during your course, please contact us to check what course fees and/or price caps will apply. 

The Lower fees, local skills qualifications are available whether you study full time, part time or even online (where available).

Yes! Some of the Lower fees, local skills half price qualifications are available as an apprenticeship or traineeship, which means as an apprentice or trainee you or your employer would be eligible for the half price course fees and annual course fee caps. 

Pre-traineeships are also available under Lower fees, local skills

Please note that the lower course fee rates under Lower fees, local skills and the annual course fee cap apply only to units of competency within a course or qualification that you commence from the date the new fee applied to 31 December 2025.  

If your apprenticeship or traineeship is likely to go beyond 2025, please speak to your TAFE college or training provider for information on how this might affect your course fees. 

As this could be quite complex — depending on when your apprenticeship or traineeship commences and its duration — please speak to your Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider or contact us for further information. 

Please note: In addition to course fees, you may be required to pay other fees for resources that are specifically needed for your course. 

The $1,000 grant can only be put towards additional construction related training (separate to your apprenticeship training). It cannot be used to reduce the costs of apprenticeship training outlined in your training plan.

For further information about the $1,000 training grant for building and construction apprentices and trainees, please visit the CTF website(opens in a new tab) .

If you re-commence units that form part of one of the Lower fees, local skills qualifications between the date the new fee applied and 31 December 2025, you will still be eligible for the half price course fee rates and fee caps.

If you have to withdraw from the course, you are entitled to a refund of the course fee and 50% of the resource fee for units that you withdraw from, before the census date. Please visit the Withdrawals and refunds page for information.  

Online courses and learning online

Learning online can be a great way to get skilled — whether your life doesn't have room for going to classes, or you like the idea of a more flexible pace of learning. And with online courses, you can get skilled from anywhere.

You'll be provided with all the information and resources needed for your course, help to get you set up, and support when you need it. To find out more about how online study works at SM TAFE visit the eCampus page.

Doing an online course doesn't mean you'll sitting reading a screen all by yourself, with nobody to talk to and no lecturer to help you — online courses take place in a virtual classroom and can include a range of activities including discussions, online chats, journals and blogs, social media, quizzes, web quests and project activities to keep things interesting. You'll be able to interact with your classmates, and your lecturer.

Yes, some of the courses on the list can be done completely online. However some of the courses require a practical component which can't be done online, or some may be a mix of online and face to face learning. If that's the case for your course, the course page will tell you what's required such as whether you'll need to attend any training on campus.

You may also need to attend a campus when it's time for an assessment of competency to get your qualification or Statement of Attainment.

SM TAFE is following all current health advice, including physical distancing and cleaning, to ensure your safety if you need to attend training at this time.

You will need a computer that can browse the internet, and basic programs such as Microsoft Word and email to do your work. You may also need to download programs such as Zoom so that you can take part in class meetings. For more information visit the technical requirements page.

If you are concerned that you don't have a reliable computer or internet connection, our campus libraries can help. Computers and free WiFi are available to students who need to study online. For more information visit the library computers page.

General information

A VET course or qualification consists of individual units of competency, each of which has a set number of "nominal hours" ie the hours required to deliver and assess the unit. Course fees are determined by multiplying the applicable rate by the nominal hours for each unit in the course that you enrol in.

Some people choose to complete individual units, to pick up specific skills when they need to. For example, you may work as a fitter and machinist but you want to move into plant mechanics — you could select some units from the Certificate III in Engineering Plant Mechanic course, to upskill. 

Once you have decided how you're going to get skilled, and found the study mode or location you’re happy with, the next step is to apply and/or enrol.

For free infection control skill sets, you can enrol directly from the Enrol Now instructions on each course page. Explore the courses now.

For Lower Fees, Local Skills courses, please see the instructions against your preferred study mode and location under the heading 'Study options and next steps'. Some of these courses are via TAFE Admissions, with expressions of interest for remaining places in Semester 1, 2021 open now.

For other online courses that are not free, please see the instructions against your preferred study mode and location under the heading 'Delivery location, important dates and study options'. These courses are via direct application to the training area, and many will allow you to start anytime or when  a group of students are ready to study together online.

For other skill sets that are not free, please use the course enquiry form at the bottom of the course page. Short courses and skill sets run subject to demand, so express your interest in the next course now.

The Australian Government offers VET Student Loans (VSL) only for eligible Diploma or Advanced Diploma courses.

If your Lower fees, local skills qualification is an eligible Diploma or Advanced Diploma, you may be eligible for VSL. To check your eligibility, visit the VET Student Loans page.

Because the Job Ready skill sets are not full qualifications, they are not eligible for VET Student Loans.

Eligible students can apply to get a loan to pay for their fees through the Australian Government’s VET Student Loans scheme. Under this scheme, once you’re employed and your income exceeds a set level, you start repaying the loan through the tax system. For more information , visit the VET Student Loans page.