Am I eligible for Skills First training?

Not everyone can do Skills First training. Your eligibility depends on lots of things, including:

  • your age
  • what training you've done before or are doing now
  • when you did this training


To be eligible for Skills First training, you must be:

  • an Australian citizen, or
  • an Australian permanent resident, or
  • a New Zealand citizen

If you are an asylum seeker, you may be eligible under the Asylum seeker VET program.

International Students

If you are an overseas student, you are not eligible for Skills First training, but you may be able to get other government assistance. See the Australian Government Study Assist  page for more information.


Skills First prioritises training for young people (under 20), Apprenticeships and Foundation Skills, and otherwise requires students do progressively higher qualifications to be eligible.

If you are under 20 years old  you can do Skills First training at any level.

If you are 20 years or over, you can usually only do Skills First training at a higher level than any qualification you already have. For example, if you have a Certificate III, you can't do a subsidised Certificate II course. (Exemption for those under 25 years per JobTrainer below.)

You can also do Skills First training in skill sets. These are accredited short courses to help with quick and flexible training for skills shortages and workforce demands. When you do a skill set, your age and what level of qualification you already have doesn’t affect whether you are eligible.


How much Skills First training can I do?


There are also limits on how much Skills First training you can do. The limits are:

  • You can't start* more than 2 qualifications in a year
  • You can’t start* more than 2 skill sets in a year
  • You can't do more than 2 Skills First qualifications or skill sets at the same time
  • If you’ve already started* up to two government-subsidised qualifications at the same level in your lifetime you can’t do another Skills First qualification at that level 


These limits encourage you to make informed decisions about your training and employment opportunities, and finish your training.

*This includes courses you start but don't finish.


Even if you aren’t eligible, you might be able to get an exemption that allows you do Skills First training.

There are also some Skills First courses where some of the eligibility criteria don’t apply or where you might be able to get your training for free or at a lower cost.

For more information contact a training provider or your local Skills and Jobs Centre.


Check your eligibility with us


When you apply for a Skills First course, we will check and confirm your eligibility. To do this, we will ask you for documents, including proof of your citizenship or residency and details about any study you've done.  You can find out more about the documents we will need here.