Skills First (SF) is a Victorian state government initiative to enable individuals the opportunity to gain access to a subsidised training place for the purpose of gaining a qualification. SF is designed to assist those without a post-secondary school qualification, or those looking to gain a higher level qualification than that which they already hold.
All individuals are eligible to access funding as long as certain eligibility criteria are met.
Students must note that enrollment under a Skills First funded position, may impact access to further government subsidised training.
To see whether you are eligible for funding click on Funding eligibility indicator to get redirected to Skills First site.
An individual must meet the general citizenship/residency requirements and Skills First requirements.
The RTO must apply the following requirements to determine whether an individual is eligible for government subsidised training under Schedule 1 (2017 Standard VET Funding Contract) and thereby be an Eligible Individual for the purpose of the VET Funding Contract.
To be eligible, an individual must meet Skills First requirements as follows:
An individual must be:

  • an Australian Citizen; or
  • a holder of a Permanent Visa; or
  • a New Zealand citizen; and

An individual must enrol and commence training in a course or qualification provided by the RTO between the later of 1 January 2017 or when the VET Funding Contract is executed, and 31 December 2017 inclusive and be:

  • under 20 years of age (as at 1 January in the year of commencement of training) and seeking to enrol in nationally recognised training; or
  • over 20 years of age (as at 1 January in the year of commencement of training) and seeking to enrol in nationally recognised training in a Foundation Skills List course; or
  • over 20 years of age (as at 1 January in the year of commencement of training) and seeking to enrol in nationally recognised training as an Apprentice (not Trainee); or
  • over 20 years of age (as at 1 January in the year of commencement of training) and seeking to enrol 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 seeking to enrol 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.

Fees and Charges

Fees for government funded training at all levels must comply with the 2017 Guidelines to Fees issued by Skills First. All tuition fees are calculated on the basis of the nominal hours of training to be undertaken within a calendar year. These hours include theory, clinical and self-directed learning. (Nominal Hours are the hours of the qualification.)

The student tuition fees as published are subject to change given individual circumstances at enrollment.

Invoices for student tuition fees are issued on a calendar year basis; student tuition fees for ensuing calendar years may be varied/increased in line with government fees and funding changes.
If a course is delivered partly in 2017 and the balance of the course in 2018, the student will be provided with a payment plan; the student will be expected to initially pay for tuition in 2017 only. A second installment covering the balance of training in 2018 is due late in 2017.
Conversely, if your course commences and completes wholly in 2017, you will be invoiced for your total tuition in 2017 at the commencement of your program.
Other factors including credit exemption or RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) must also be taken into account.
For exact tuition costs, please email Student Services.
Indicative Fees for funded course are listed with each course information.
For information regarding undergraduate scholarships click on the following link Australian College of Nursing (ACN)which provides details.
The Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH) administers the Allied Health Streams of the Nursing and Allied Health Scholarship and Support Scheme (NAHSSS). Funding is provided by the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA). For information regarding these scholarships click on the following link SARRAH which provides details.

CERTIFICATE AND DIPLOMA COURSES AND ENROLMENT IN SINGLE UNITS
Students who are enrolled within a course (to complete a single unit or selected units) that is not intended to lead to the award of that qualification i.e. there is no intention by the student to complete the qualification are not eligible for government funding for these single/selected units.
Government funding through Skills First is only available for full courses that when completed lead to a qualification.

An individual is only eligible to:

  • commence a maximum of two government subsidised courses 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 government subsidised courses at any one time.
  • commence a maximum of two government subsidised courses at the same level within the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) in their lifetime; and
  • commence a maximum of two government subsidised accredited courses with the title ‘Course in…’ in their lifetime.

Additional Trainee Eligibility Requirements
In addition to individual eligibility requirements as detailed above, to be eligible to receive government subsidised training as a trainee the individual must be:

  • Employed in Victoria in either a full time or part time capacity under an award or registered agreement;
  • undertaking an Approved Training Scheme;
  • A signatory to a Training Contract with their employer which is registered with the VRQA;
  • A signatory, jointly with the employer and the RTO, to a Training Plan; and
  • Involved in paid work and Structured Training, either workplace based or off-the-job.

Tuition fee waivers/exemptions

Prior to the commencement of training, the RTO must sight and retain copies of all documentation demonstrating an individual’s eligibility for the tuition fee waiver/exemption granted by the RTO for audit or review purposes and to meet the record keeping requirements.
Judy Lazarus Transition Centre
The RTO must not charge a tuition fee for enrolment by an individual who is from the Judy Lazarus Transition Centre (as a prisoner within the meaning of the Corrections Act 1986).
Young people on community based orders
The RTO must not charge a tuition fee for enrolment by an individual who is required to undertake the course pursuant to a community based order made under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005.

Minimum tuition fees for Indigenous students
Under the Indigenous Completions Initiative, all enrollments undertaken by Indigenous students will be charged at the concession rate. This includes Diploma programs.

Fees for government funded recognition of prior learning (RPL)

Mayfield offers RPL as a commercial service, and charges for it on a fee for service basis. This takes place outside of the funded regulated fees framework.
RPL processes are entered into at the request of a student or with their consent. It is not acceptable for Mayfield to charge a fee for RPL instead of providing tuition, without this consent.
There is no set minimum fee for RPL so Mayfield does not have to charge any fee if they wish, however the fee that is charged must not be above cost. Please read the Mayfield Student Handbook for further information about RPL processes and fees.

Other Fees

Mayfield can charge a fee for services and amenities, but must be able to show that the revenue collected in this way has been used only to provide facilities, services or activities of direct benefit to the students.
Mayfield can charge a fee for equipment and materials that students will keep as their own – such as uniforms, tools, notes, but students must have the choice to purchase the equivalent equipment and materials from elsewhere. This fee must not exceed cost recovery.
Mayfield can charge a fee for goods and services that are provided in support of a student’s tuition. Examples might include a fee to cover the cost of an excursion or field trip or other additional activities that are normally offered on an optional basis. The fee must not exceed cost recovery, and should not be charged for activity that is a requirement for completion of the program, as the tuition fee and government funding are for that purpose.

Refunds
Refunds are applied under the rules of the Skills First 2017 Guidelines about Fees are available via Applicant Information in the Student Information Handbook and the Refund Policy.

Funding Eligibility

Once a student has successfully completed a nationally recognised qualification, they will not be able to access the SF to undertake further training at the same or lower qualification level, regardless of industry field.
Eligibility Exclusions
An individual is not eligible for government subsidised training under VET Funding Contract if the individual is:
A student enrolled in a school (excluding a School Based Apprentice/Trainee). this includes any government, non-government, independent or Catholic school; or 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.
A prisoner within the meaning of the Corrections Act 1986 who is held at any one of the following custodial settings:

  • Hopkins Correctional Centre (Ararat)
  • Barwon Prison
  • Beechworth Correctional Centre
  • Dame Phyllis Frost Centre
  • Dhurringile Prison
  • Langi Kal Kal Prison
  • Loddon Prison
  • Marngoneet Correctional Centre
  • Tarrengower Prison
  • Metropolitan Remand Centre
  • Fulham Correctional Centre, or
  • Port Phillip Prison
  • A person who is detained under the Mental Health Act 1986; or the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997 or the Sentencing Act 1991 at the Thomas Embling Hospital.
  • A person who is detained (other than on weekend detention) under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 or the Sentencing Act 1991 or who is held on remand in one or more of the following youth justice facilities:
  • Malmsbury Juvenile Justice Centre
  • Parkville Youth Residential Centre
  • Melbourne Youth Justice Centre
  • The exclusions described do not apply to young people on community based orders made under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005, or individuals held in Judy Lazarus Transition Centre who may be eligible for funding as they are able to physically access training outside of a custodial setting without supervision.