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Fee Free TAFE eligibility criteria

Fee Free TAFE and vocational education is a joint initiative of the Australian and South Australian Governments providing tuition-free training places to students wanting to train, retrain or upskill.

People from the following groups are strongly encouraged to apply:

  • First Nations Australians
  • Young people (17-24)
  • People who are out of work or receiving income support payments
  • Unpaid carers
  • People who identify as female facing economic insecurity
  • People who identify as female undertaking study in non-traditional fields
  • People with disability including autism and neurodivergence
  • Certain categories of visa holders

Fee Free TAFE is intended for new students to the course being offered. Students need to be new to the course, not new to TAFE SA.

To be eligible for Fee Free TAFE, at the time the course commences, you must:

  • Live or work in South Australia
  • Be an Australian or New Zealand citizen, permanent Australian resident or an eligible VISA holder
  • Be aged 16 years or over and not enrolled at any school.

Applicants must also meet any specific academic requirements for individual courses.

Depending on the type of training and resources that are required to deliver it effectively, class sizes for any given course may be limited. Fee Free places are subject to availability at each intake and may be subject to capacity constraints.

Applicants seeking a Fee-Free TAFE funded place in an eligible course will be requested to complete a pre-enrolment checklist.

Fee-Free TAFE eligibility is determined according to the eligibility requirements for accessing subsidised training. For details visit Subsidised Training.

The number of Fee Free TAFE places that are funded is limited by the terms of the skills agreement signed by the Australian and South Australian Governments.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • What is Fee Free TAFE?

    Fee Free TAFE and vocational education is a joint partnership between the Australian and South Australian Governments to support accessible training for more South Australians.

    It represents a significant investment in training delivery in South Australia and will support industries facing skills shortages, growth industries and emerging sectors, creating more opportunities for South Australians to access new and high-level skills in these priority areas.

  • What is available through Fee Free TAFE?

    Fee Free TAFE and vocational education places in qualifications, accredited skill sets and foundation skill courses will be available through TAFE SA and selected non-government training organisations and will focus on priority areas including:

    • Care (aged care, childcare, health care, disability care)
    • Hospitality and tourism
    • Technology and digital
    • Construction
    • Agriculture
    • Sovereign capability (for example manufacturing, and defence), and
    • VET workforce
  • What student fees are covered by Fee Free TAFE?

    Fee Free TAFE covers course tuition fees only. This also means that any fees associated with Recognition of Prior Learning are also fee free.

    Students are expected to pay for incidental costs such as course consumables or materials that relate to their training.
  • Who can access Fee Free TAFE SA courses?

    Fee Free TAFE is intended for new students to the course being offered.

    People from the following groups are strongly encouraged to apply:

    • First Nations Australians
    • Young people (17-24)
    • People who are out of work or receiving income support payments
    • Unpaid carers
    • Women facing economic insecurity
    • Women undertaking study in non-traditional fields
    • People with disability including autism and neurodivergence
    • Certain categories of visa holders
  • What courses are being offered fee free?

    The Fee Free TAFE course list can be found here.

    Please note, Fee Free TAFE covers the tuition fee of the course. Where applicable some courses may include additional fees such as a Resource Fee or Incidental Fee.

  • How long will the courses be free?

    Fee Free TAFE places are available for students enrolling to start in 2024, subject to funding availability, and will remain free for eligible students for the duration of the course

  • Are there eligibility requirements for Fee Free TAFE?

    To be eligible for Fee Free TAFE, at the time the course commences, people must:

    • Live or work in South Australia
    • Be an Australian or New Zealand citizen, permanent Australian resident or an eligible VISA holder
    • Be aged 16 years or over and not enrolled at any school.

    Applicants must also meet any specific academic requirements for individual courses.

    Depending on the type of training and resources that are required to deliver it effectively, class sizes for any given course may be limited. Fee Free places are subject to availability at each intake and may be subject to capacity constraints.

    Applicants seeking a Fee-Free TAFE funded place in an eligible course will be requested to complete a pre-enrolment checklist.

    Fee-Free TAFE eligibility is determined according to the eligibility requirements for accessing subsidised training. For details visit Subsidised Training (tafesa.edu.au).

  • Are Apprentices and Trainees eligible?

    The focus of Fee Free TAFE for 2024 is for general students only . As such, Apprentice and Trainee are not eligible for Fee Free TAFE, but remain subsidised by the South Australian Government.

  • What are the rules around previously completed training?

    From 15 October 2020, Standard Entitlement Criteria do not apply to any course on the Subsidised Training List. This means:

    • People can access qualifications or short courses regardless of any prior qualification or training already completed
    • People can undertake more than one course or short course
    • Training commenced during this period will not impact on an individual’s base entitlement to access subsidised training.
  • Can students in schools access Fee Free TAFE while they are enrolled in school?

    No, students enrolled in school at the time the Fee Free TAFE course commences will not be eligible for Fee Free TAFE. This applies to both independent and public-school students. However, School Students who are under the Guardianship of the Minister are eligible for Fee Free TAFE courses.

    If students will graduate or leave school by the time the Fee Free TAFE course commences, they can qualify for Fee Free TAFE.

Need help working out which course is right for you?

Visit career planning for a range of resources and information to help you plan your career and training goals.  You can also book an appointment with our careers team to discuss your options.

Contact us

If you need further assistance, please phone TAFE SA on 1800 882 661 or contact us.

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