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Skills Ready

There's never been a better time to get into training

WA needs skilled workers to rebuild our businesses and communities following the COVID-19 pandemic, and fantastic opportunities are available — whether you're looking for a job, thinking about a career change, or upskilling for your own development now's the time to get skills ready.

The State Government is making training affordable and accessible so you can boost your skills and be job ready as the WA economy recovers.

How about a free training course? Yes... free! Or choose from over 70 half-price* qualifications that match up with where the jobs are. To meet the specific needs of businesses for COVID-19,  we have new skill sets — fast track training to get you job ready — and to make sure anyone can get skills ready we have made a range of courses available online.

Browse to one of the options in the sections below to find out how to get skills ready, and how we can help you choose the best option to boost your skills for the future.

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Get free Skills Ready training

That's right... free training! 

We are serious when we say we want to help you get skills ready!

The State Government has worked closely with us and WA industries, businesses and employers to find out the types of skills needed right now and for future jobs. Free skill sets developed from nationally recognised vocational training are now available — some are also available online. 

Don't miss this fantastic opportunity to fast track your training and get skills ready!

The free training focuses on the following two options. 

  • Infection control skill sets to get you skills ready and job ready for COVID-19 safe workplace requirements — free for everyone 
  • Skill sets to get you skills ready for current job opportunities as  WA's economy recovers — some are free for everyone, and others are free for eligible students including displaced workers, concession students and youth up to 25 not at school
     

Free infection control skill sets

Fast track your skills with our free infection control skill sets to get you job ready

All infection control skill sets are 100% free for everyone!

These infection control skill sets have been developed specifically to get you job ready to safely manage infection control in the workplace. They match up with the skills employers are looking for, to support WA businesses in key areas such as aged care, disability support, retail, hospitality, transport and logistics. 

The skill sets contain selected units of competency from nationally accredited and recognised vocational qualifications that target specific skill areas.

Job ready skill sets

Not all jobs need a full qualification, and maybe you don't either — skill sets are the perfect solution.

Skill sets can help you get ready for your first job, or re-skill quickly for jobs that are available as WA's economy recovers. 

These new job ready skill sets have 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.    

Job ready skill sets that are 100% free for everyone:

  • Operating a small business

Job ready skill sets are 100% free for the following eligible students:

  • People aged 15—24 years at the time of enrolment (excluding school students)
  • Secondary school-aged people who are not enrolled at school
  • People receiving the JobSeeker or JobKeeper payment
  • People and dependents of people receiving the Youth Allowance, AUSTUDY or ABSTUDY
  • People and dependents of people holding:
    -  pensioner concession card or Health Care Card; or
    - a Repatriation Health Benefits Card issued by the Department of Veterans' Affairs
  • Dependents of people who are inmates of a custodial institution

Fees apply for non-eligible students.
View the course pages to see fees and how to apply instructions.

The job ready skill sets include general entry level training to prepare for employment, and also cover a range of industry areas to help get you skills ready for a number of job roles. Because all of these skill sets are made up of units of competency from nationally recognised vocational education and training (VET) qualifications, you will receive credit for them if you choose to go on to further study. 
 

Lower Fees, Local Skills - half price* course fees

Lower fees, local skills

How would you like to get a nationally recognised and accredited qualification but pay only half-price* course fees?

From tourism and hospitality to residential and commercial construction, commercial cookery to aged care, cyber security to engineering, defence to automotive, business and IT, healthcare and childhood education, electrical to heavy vehicle mechanical technology — to name just a few — there really is something here for everyone under the Lower fees, local skills program, and this is where the jobs are!

These qualifications are matched up with the skills employers are looking for, so you'll be job ready. And they're available from TAFE colleges and a selection of private training providers across WA — some are also available online. 

What's new?

In January 2020, the Lower fees, local skills program started with 34 half price course fees qualifications. On 2 July 2020, a further 39 half price course fees qualifications were announced in a broad range of industry areas. If you think you've seen the Lower fees, local skills courses already, take another look.

Regardless of how much the course fees for your qualification actually are, you will not pay more than the set fees cap amount per qualification or course each calendar year. 

  • All students aged 15—24 years of age are eligible for a concession course fee cap of $400 from the date the new fee applied.
  • For all eligible concession students, the course fee cap is $400 from the date the new fee applied.
  • The course fee cap for non-concession students is $1,200 from the date the new fee applied.

* Please note that only tuition fees are half price for the Lower fees, local skills qualifications. You will be required to pay resource fees and other fees to enrol in these courses.
   

Who is eligible for the concession rate and the annual course fee cap of $400?

Who is eligible for the concession rate and the course fee cap of $400?

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

  • All students aged 15—24 years
  • People and dependents of people holding:
    • a pensioner concession card;
    • a repatriation health benefits card issued by the Department of Veterans' Affairs; or
    • a Health Care Card
  • People and dependents of people in receipt of the Youth Allowance, AUSTUDY or ABSTUDY
  • Dependents of people who are inmates of a custodial institution
  • Secondary school-aged people, not enrolled at school

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

Get Skills Ready online

Learning online can be a great way to get skills ready — from the comfort of your own home or workplace.

You can choose from a wide range of courses from information technology, to work, health and safety, to community services and logistics, there's sure to be a course to suit your study goals. We work with you to develop a study plan that allows you to progress at a manageable pace.

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 — you'll be able to interact with your classmates and your lecturer, so you're not doing it all alone.  

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. To find out more about studying online at SM TAFE, visit eCampus now.

Please note that some courses may require practical training and assessment for hands-on skills. Explore the course pages for more information. 

Skills Ready: Frequently asked questions

Here we have provided answers to some frequently asked questions about the Skills Ready program.

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.
    

Free training (infection control and job ready skill sets)

Who can access the free training?

The free training is available to residents of Western Australia.

Temporary residents
People holding one of the following visa types are also eligible:

  • holders of a sub-class 309, 444, 785, 790, 820 or 826 visa;
  • secondary holders of a temporary visa of sub-class 457; and
  • holders of a Bridging Visa E (subclasses 050 and 051) where the visa holder has made a valid application for a visa of subclass 785 or 790.

Who is not eligible

  • Persons living outside of Western Australia, or Australia, are not eligible.
  • International students and people on a student visa are not eligible.

The Department of Training and Workforce Development’s VET Fees and charges policyoutlines eligibility for subsidised training in WA.

Enquiries regarding course fees can be made by calling us on 1800 001 001..

Are all those infection control skill sets really free?

Yes! The Skills Ready infection control skill sets are totally free!

The course fees and any resource fees are 100 per cent subsidised by the WA State Government, through Jobs and Skills WA, so that there is no cost to you.

The free infection control skill sets target areas that WA needs right now, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. By making these courses free we are able to help more people get skills ready, boost their skills for the future, and get jobs.

Please note: The minimum age requirement for the Entry Into Care Roles and the COVID-19 Direct Care skill sets is 18 years. For the other infection control skill sets, students must be 15 years of age or older.

What are the infection control skill sets, and how will they get me job ready?

There are six free infection control skill sets available, each focused on a specific area of work.

The COVID-19 Direct Care skill set was developed in consultation with WA employers in the aged care and disability services sectors and the Community Services, Health and Education Training Council. It contains three units of competency chosen to get you job ready for entry-level employment.

  • HLTINF001 Comply with infection prevention and control policies and procedures
  • HLTWHS005 Conduct manual tasks safely
  • CHCCCS011 Meet personal support needs

The CHCSS00114 Entry Into Care Roles skill set addresses the skills and knowledge required to provide entry level support and basic client care for a range of roles and purposes within the aged care and disability support sectors. The support provided in client care will be predominantly non-direct. The skill set is comprised of the following units.

  • HLTINF001 Comply with infection prevention and control policies and procedures
  • CHCCCS015 Provide individualised support
  • HLTWHS002 Follow safe work practices for direct client care

HLTINFCOV001 Comply with infection prevention and control policies and procedures is a nationally recognised unit of competency, to train people to follow organisational infection prevention and control procedures including implementing standard and transmission-based precautions and responding to infection risks. With this skill set, you can select from three industry areas — transport and logistics, hospitality (food handling), and retail — so that you can choose the one that best matches with the type of work you're looking for or currently doing.

The skill set HLTSS00064 Infection Control is linked to the unit HLTINF001 Comply with infection prevention and control policies and procedures and has been designed for the healthcare sector; specifically those working in aged care or disability support.

For further information about the free infection control skill sets, including where they are available and how to enrol, please select 'Infection control' from the Skills Ready course list.

What are the minimum age requirements for the infection control skill sets?

The minimum age requirement for the Entry Into Care Roles and the COVID-19 Direct Care skill sets is 18 years.

For the other infection control skill sets, students must be 15 years of age or older.

Who is eligible for free job ready skill sets?

This job ready skill set is free for everyone:

  • Operating a Small Business

Our job ready skill sets are available to everyone, and 100% free for the following eligible students.

  • People aged 15—24 years at the time of enrolment (excluding school students)
  • Secondary school-aged people who are not enrolled at school
  • People receiving the JobSeeker or JobKeeper payment
  • 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
  • People and dependents of people who are inmates of a custodial institution

Course and resource fees will apply for non-eligible students. For further information about the job ready skill sets, including where they are available, cost for non-eligible students and how to enrol, please select 'Skill sets' from the Skills Ready course list.

   
Skill sets

What is a skill set?

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.

Will I receive a certificate when I complete a skill set?

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.

Can I go on to further study after I've completed a skill set?

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 — Half price* course fees qualifications

Who can access these Lower fees, local skills qualifications?

The Lower fees, local skills courses are available to residents of Western Australia.

Temporary residents
People holding one of the following visa types are also eligible:

  • holders of a sub-class 309, 444, 785, 790, 820 or 826 visa;
  • secondary holders of a temporary visa of sub-class 457; and
  • holders of a Bridging Visa E (subclasses 050 and 051) where the visa holder has made a valid application for a visa of subclass 785 or 790.

Who is not eligible

  • People living outside of Western Australia, or Australia, are not eligible.
  • International students and people on a student visa are not eligible.

The Department of Training and Workforce Development’s VET Fees and charges policy- outlines eligibility for subsidised training in WA.

Enquiries regarding course fees should be made by calling us on 1800 001 001..

Am I eligible for the concession rate on the half price course fees?

The following people will be entitled to a concession rate on the half price course fees under Lower fees, local skills.

  • People and dependents of people holding:
    • a pensioner concession card;
    • a repatriation health benefits card issued by the Department of Veterans' Affairs; or
    • a Health Care Card
  • People and dependents of people in receipt of the Youth Allowance, AUSTUDY or ABSTUDY
  • People and dependents of people who are inmates of a custodial institution
  • Secondary school-aged persons, not enrolled at school
Do I still have to pay other fees, like for resources, on the Lower fees, local skills qualifications?

The half price rates under Lower fees, local skills apply only to tuition fees, and these are set by the Department of Training and Workforce Development's VET fees and charges policy.

You may need to pay other fees — that will depend on the qualification you choose. For example; if you do the Certificate III in Commercial Cookery, you may need to pay for specialist equipment such as a knife. Or some courses may require you to purchase a workbook and there will be a resource fee for that. To see our indicative fees, visit the fees and payment options page.

How does the annual course fees cap work on the Lower fees, local skills qualifications?

The "fees cap" means that regardless of how much your course fees actually are, under Lower fees, local skills you will not pay more than a set total amount. Course fee caps are set at different amounts, depending on whether you are entitled to receive a concession rate or are aged between 15—24.

  • The concession rate 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 a concession rate on the half price course fees under Lower fees, local skills:

  • All students aged 15—24
  • People and dependents of people holding:
    • a pensioner concession card;
    • a repatriation health benefits card issued by the Department of Veterans' Affairs; or
    • a Health Care Card
  • People and dependents of people in receipt of Youth Allowance, AUSTUDY or ABSTUDY
  • People and dependents of people who are inmates of a custodial institution
  • Secondary school-aged persons, not enrolled at school

The non-concession rate course fee cap for Lower fees, local skills qualifications is $1,200.

All students aged 15—24 years of age are eligible for the annual concession fee cap of $400 per qualification/course per year on all Lower fees, local skills qualifications, from the date the new fee applied. 

Is the annual fee cap just for one qualification or course, or can I do two in the same year under the one fee cap?

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.

If I turn 25 years old during my Lower fees, local skills qualification, am I still eligible for the annual $400 course fee cap?

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 speak to your TAFE college or training provider to check what course fees and/or price caps will apply. 

When are the Lower fees, local skills qualifications available?

The half price course fees commenced on 1 January 2020, under the State Government's Lower fees, local skills program, for 34 qualifications.

Any units of competency commenced by new or continuing students in the selected qualifications between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2021 will attract the half price course fees. Any units of competency commenced outside of this period will attract the regular course fees.

39 additional qualifications were added on 2 July 2020.

Any units of competency commenced by new or continuing students in the selected qualifications between 1 July 2020 and 31 December 2021 will attract the half price course fees. Any units of competency commenced outside of this period will attract the regular course fees.

Are the Lower fees, local skills qualifications available if I study part time? Or are they only for full time study?

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

The half price course fee rates and annual fee caps will also be available for units of competency that are commenced between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2021, where those units form part of a Lower fees, local skills qualification from the date of the new fee arrangement.

What is a unit of competency?

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. 

What if I am already enrolled in a Lower fees, local skills qualification and continuing to study?

If you have already started one of the Lower fees, local skills qualifications and will be continuing it in 2020/21, you will pay the half price course fees for any units of competency in that qualification that you commence from the date the new fee applied.

Are apprenticeships and traineeships included for the Lower fees, local skills qualifications and annual fee caps?

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. 

On 2 July 2020 some pre-apprenticeship courses were also added, to help you prepare to get an apprenticeship or traineeship.

Please note that because all of the units of competency  in your apprenticeship or traineeship may not have started by 31 December 2021 — when this program of half price fees and the annual fee cap ends — it could be the case that some parts of your course won't be eligible for the half price course fees and annual fee cap.

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 your TAFE college or training provider, for further information. 

Can I use my $1,000 CTF training grant for a skill set or Lower fees, local skills qualification?

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.

What happens if I start a two or three-year Lower fees, local skills qualification that continues past 31 December 2021?

The half price 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 and 31 December 2021.  Any units of competency commenced outside of this period will attract the regular course fees.

What if I start a Lower fees, local skills qualification but can't continue it?

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 2021, 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 unit withdrawal date (which is set by your TAFE or training provider). Please check with your TAFE or training provider for information about refunds.  

I have already paid full price for my course, but now the course fees are half price. Do I get a refund?

If you have already enrolled in and paid for a course that was added to the Lower fees, local skills half price course fees list on 3 July 2020, you will pay the new half price course fees rate for any units in that course which commence after that date (3 July).

We will adjust your invoice and the difference will be refunded. You will be contacted when this has been confirmed via email.

   
Online courses and learning online

How does online learning work?

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.

Are those courses on the list completely online?

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.

I don't have a fancy new computer, can I still study online?

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

What is a unit of competency?

A vocational education and training (VET) qualification 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. Each unit of competency has a set number of "nominal hours" ie the indicative hours required to deliver and assess the unit.

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 complete some units from the Certificate III in Engineering Plant Mechanic qualification to gain the skills and knowledge you need for that.

Individual units of competency are also used to develop skill sets or short courses, that target a specific skills area.

How do I apply and/or enrol in the skill sets or Lower fees, local skills qualifications?

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 'Delivery location, important dates and study options'. Some of these courses are via TAFE Admissions and will be considered expressions of interest for remaining places in Semester 2 2020.

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.

Can I access VET student loans (VSL) for the Lower fees, local skills qualifications and/or job ready skill sets?

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.

What are 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.

Page last updated August 04, 2020