Frequently Asked Questions

 

Questions about Smart and Skilled from students

Fee Free Apprenticeships

Yes, if you commence your Smart and Skilled apprenticeship qualification on or after 1 July 2018, then neither you nor your employer will have to pay the qualification student fee.  This amount, of up to $2000 will be paid for you by the Department directly to the training provider.

You are eligible for fee-free training if you start your apprenticeship qualification with your training provider on or after 1 July 2018.  This means neither you nor your employer will have to pay the qualification student fee.

If you commence training before this date the student fee must still be paid to the training provider by you or your employer.

No, apprenticeship training is only fee-free for apprentices starting their apprenticeship qualification with their training provider from 1 July 2018 onwards are you or your employer are still required to pay any outstanding fees to your training provider, if you have already started your apprenticeship training.

The fee-free initiative applies only to apprenticeships.

Smart and Skilled traineeship qualification fees are capped at $1,000.

If you started your apprenticeship qualification with your training provider before 1 July 2018 you are not eligible for fee-free training. No refund will be made.

If you have already enrolled in your apprenticeship qualification but do not commence in the qualification until 1 July 2018 or later, your training provider must refund the student fee(s) that have been paid to date to you or your employer. The refund should be paid to whoever paid the fee in the first place.

For more information, visit Fee-Free Apprenticeships on the VET website.

Smart and Skilled training

The NSW Skills List identifies the qualifications eligible for a government subsidy under Smart and Skilled. Developed through extensive industry and community consultation and labour market research, the Skills List includes a wide range of vocational qualifications to support the diverse skills needs of NSW employers.

The Skills List enables people in NSW to make more informed choices about their training, knowing that Smart and Skilled courses can give people the skills they need to get a job, advance their career or continue onto further study.

The Skills List covers all industry sectors in NSW and includes qualifications up to Advanced Diploma. All NSW apprenticeships and most new entrant traineeships are also on the Skills List.

View the NSW Skills List.

Holding a previous qualification does not affect your eligibility to undertake training up to Certificate III level under Smart and Skilled, however it does affect the student fee.

If you meet the Smart and Skilled eligibility conditions to undertake a qualification up to and including Certificate III, and you don't have any post-school qualifications, you will pay the lower fee for your first Smart and Skilled subsidised course at Certificate III level or lower. You will pay a higher fee for any subsequent Smart and Skilled courses you undertake.

Eligibility

If you are:

  • 15 years old or over, and
  • no longer at school, and
  • living or working in NSW (or an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person living in specific NSW border areas, and
  • an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, Australian humanitarian visa holder or New Zealand citizen

or

  • a NSW apprentice or a new-entrant trainee undertaking a selected traineeship on the NSW Skills List

you may be eligible to enrol in a government-subsidised course with an approved Smart and Skilled training provider.

Previous qualifications do not affect your eligibility.

If you have a Certificate IV or higher qualification you are still able to access subsidised Smart and Skilled training up to Certificate III level, providing you meet the personal eligibility criteria for Smart and Skilled. As you already have a post-school qualification, you will pay a higher fee for your Smart and Skilled training than someone who does not have any qualifications.

View Are you eligible? for Smart and Skilled training.

If you have undertaken a course as part of your secondary education, you are still eligible for subsidised training under Smart and Skilled.

A course undertaken as part of your secondary education does not count as a post-school qualification. If you have not achieved any other qualifications after leaving school, you are eligible to enrol in a Smart and Skilled course at any qualification level and you will pay a lower fee.

Yes. Your previous qualifications do not affect your eligibility, however they may affect the student fee. As you already have a post-school qualification, you will pay a higher fee for your Smart and Skilled training than someone who does not have any qualifications.

These conditions do not apply for apprentices or trainees who are new entrants undertaking specific traineeships. These students are eligible for a government subsidy for the qualification that supports their apprenticeship or traineeship and pay the relevant fee.

Also, most foundation skills courses do not count as a post-school qualification. View Extra Learning Support for a list of these courses.

No. Your previous qualifications, including those obtained overseas, do not affect your eligibility, however they may affect the student fee. As you already have a post-school qualification, you will pay a higher fee for your Smart and Skilled training than someone who does not have any qualifications.

If you commence an apprenticeship or new-entrant traineeship, you may be eligible for a government subsidy under Smart and Skilled for the qualification that supports the apprenticeship or traineeship and will pay the relevant fee.

Any VET qualification obtained as part of your secondary education does not affect your eligibility for Smart and Skilled training. This is because it is not considered to be a post-school qualification.

However, if you independently enrolled in a VET qualification that was not a requirement of your secondary schooling and you obtained it after turning 17, this may affect the fee you pay.

Note that your fee will be higher where your previous qualification is considered to be a post-school qualification.

For more information about your specific situation, contact an approved Smart and Skilled training provider. Go to the Course Finder to find the contact details for approved Smart and Skilled training providers that deliver your preferred course.

You are eligible to enrol in Smart and Skilled training if your immigration status falls under one of the five subclasses of refugee and humanitarian or Onshore - Protection visa categories listed on the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

You and your approved Smart and Skilled training provider are advised to review these categories on the Immigration Department website at the time of your enrolment.

NOTE: If you are on a current temporary humanitarian stay visa, temporary humanitarian concern visa or bridging visa, you are eligible to enrol in Smart and Skilled where your training commences on or after 1 January 2017.

View Smart and Skilled information for Asylum seekers and refugees.

Student fees

Smart and Skilled fees are set for the whole qualification. They are not annual fees.

Approved Smart and Skilled training providers determine the payment arrangements for their students. They must publish information about these arrangements and must inform students about them before enrolment. Providers may have arrangements in place so students can pay off their qualification in instalments. Ask your preferred approved Smart and Skilled training providers about these arrangements.

You should advise your Smart and Skilled training provider that you have already completed these modules, or units of competency, and that you would like a credit transfer for them. If you are granted credit transfer for one or more units of competency, your approved Smart and Skilled training provider will recalculate the student fee based on the units/modules for which you are given credit transfer.

Your student fee can also be recalculated and reduced if you are granted recognition of prior learning.

View Recognising your existing skills under Smart and Skilled.

If you transfer to another training provider of your own accord, your new training provider applies the standard credit transfer rules to calculate your fee and subsidy.

If you have to transfer because the original training provider has closed down or their government contract has been cancelled, the fees charged in total by the two Smart and Skilled training providers cannot exceed the student fee quoted by the initial training provider.

Ask your approved Smart and Skilled training provider for more information.I'm an Aboriginal person and have completed a Certificate IV qualification. Can I enrol in a subsidised Smart and Skilled course at Certificate III level or lower?

Your previous qualifications do not affect your eligibility.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who are eligible are exempt from fees for any Smart and Skilled courses.

View Smart and Skilled training for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students

From 2016, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who have a Certificate IV or higher qualification will be able to access subsidised Smart and Skilled training up to Certificate III level, providing you meet the personal eligibility criteria for Smart and Skilled.

If you commence an apprenticeship or new-entrant traineeship you may be eligible for a government subsidy under Smart and Skilled for the qualification that supports the apprenticeship or traineeship.

You may also be eligible for subsidised training in targeted priority areas at Certificate IV level or higher, depending on funding availability.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who are eligible are exempt from fees for any Smart and Skilled courses.

View further information for training for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students under Smart and Skilled.

Concession fees

No. Eligibility for fee exemptions and concessions is determined when you enrol in the course, based on the details you provided at that time. It is not possible to change the type of fee you pay after you have commenced your training.

Disadvantaged students

Smart and Skilled supports disadvantaged students by offering fee exemptions to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) students, students with disabilities and the dependants of Disability Support Pension recipients. Fee concessions are also available to students receiving Australian Government welfare benefits and the dependants of Australian Government welfare recipients.

Lower-cost foundation skills courses are available for people who want help with language, literacy or numeracy skills to help them get a job or do a vocational course.

Training providers are compensated through a top up to the subsidy, called a loading, for the typical additional costs associated with providing training to specific categories of disadvantaged students. This is important for meeting equity objectives, as it ensures there is no financial disincentive for training providers to enrol these students.

View Smart and Skilled training for disadvantaged students.

Students in regions

Smart and Skilled helps regional students access quality training in a number of ways.

For example, the courses on the NSW Skills List are relevant to industry needs across NSW and have good job prospects.

Through this Smart and Skilled website, regional students have improved access to published information on courses and training providers in their regions. Students can search for the courses delivered in their region through the Course Finder.

Approved Smart and Skilled training providers also receive a top up to the subsidy (called a loading) for training delivered in regional and remote locations to ensure there is no financial disincentive to deliver training in regional areas.

Apprentices and trainees

All NSW apprentices and trainees who are new entrants in specific traineeships on the NSW Skills List are eligible for a government subsidy under Smart and Skilled for the qualification that supports their apprenticeship or traineeship.

Apprentices, eligible new-entrant trainees and their employers can choose an approved Smart and Skilled training provider that best meets their needs. Their choice of training provider does not affect the fee that is paid. The fee they pay is the same regardless of which approved Smart and Skilled training provider they choose.

Rather than paying yearly or by semester, apprentices and eligible trainees under Smart and Skilled pay a fee for the qualification. They may still pay in instalments over a number of years, but the fee is an amount for the qualification, fixed at the time the apprentice or trainee commences.

Under the NSW Government fee-free apprenticeship initiative, NSW apprentices that commence their training on or after 1 July 2018 may be eligible for fee free training. For more information, go to vet.nsw.gov.au. For eligible apprentices there will be no requirement to pay the fee.

If you're a new-entrant trainee undertaking a traineeship on the NSW Skills List, your Smart and Skilled fee for the whole qualification will not be more than $1,000.

View Smart and Skilled for apprenticeship and traineeship qualifications.

Other training options

If no approved Smart and Skilled training providers are available for the course you want, you may still be able to do the course by paying commercial fees.

Commercial fees are set by training providers as fee-for-service courses that are not government-subsidised.

Go to the MySkills website or check with your preferred training provider to find out if the course you want is offered as fee-for-service.