If you’re looking for a way to come out of this lockdown with an extra skill or two under your belt, don’t forget that TAFEs across the country have dozens of short courses you can complete remotely – that don’t cost you a cent.
NSW TAFE announced yesterday it just added five new courses to its growing list of free online short courses. Residents in the state are now able to study food safety supervision, drones in agriculture, creating and designing spreadsheets, as well as beauty, hairdressing and barbering.
If you’re not keen on any of those, you might be interested instead in courses on emotional intelligence, digital security basics, or small business.
If you’re not from NSW, don’t worry; every single state and territory in Australia offers their own list of free courses, many of which appear to be designed to better equip Aussies to deal with the pandemic.
At TAFE Victoria you can pick up a Diploma of Justice, Accounting or Nursing; Certificate IV in Cyber Security, or Dental Assisting or Education Support if that’s more your thing.
Victoria TAFE also seems to be keen to support those wanting to kick-start their career as a tradie, with dozens of free courses dedicated to this industry alone, such as Certificate III or IVs related to civil construction, building and construction, concreting, waterproofing and plumbing.
But if you’d rather study engineering, hospitality, mental health work, tourism or youth work instead, that option’s there for you too.
Meanwhile, Queensland TAFE offers dozens of free Jobtrainer-funded courses, with many more costing less than $200. Additionally, Queenslanders whose work has been impacted by COVID-19, such as hospitality workers, can undertake ‘COVID safe’ training modules that are funded by the state government.
Queensland TAFE also offers free courses, apprenticeships and traineeships to those under 25 years old.
While Western Australia TAFE has an , not all of them are free and available remotely. Of the handful that are, though, there are four on different kinds of infection control, with others in hospitality, care, and business and cybersecurity.
Regarding JobTrainer-funded courses offered in South Australia, it looks like there are literally hundreds upon hundreds of $0 and “fee or low-fee” options, so it’s best to check the Australian Government’s to see which courses catch your fancy. You can learn everything from conservation and land management to animal companion services.
Tasmania’s TAFE, or TasTAFE, offers , including several in digital skills, some in tourism and hospitality like cafe operations and barista training, as well as agriculture and building and construction.
Who can do the free courses?
In order to see if you qualify for the fee-free courses, there are criteria you have to meet that will depend on which state you live in.
A quick glance at most of the states’ criteria indicates you’ll need to be an Australian/New Zealand citizen or permanent resident or an eligible visa holder to qualify. There may also be limits on how many courses you can enrol in per person, or at any given time.
Many of these courses are subsidised by JobTrainer, which is a $2 billion Federal Government initiative that puts money into making vocational education and training (VET) either free or very low-cost. The puts more than half a billion dollars in extra funding towards JobTrainer which delivers an additional 163,000 places.
“Through JobTrainer the Government is offering training to people aged 17-24 or out of work, and providing support for businesses to retain their apprentices and trainees,” the National Careers Institute’s states.
State by state, here’s the full list:
Statement of Attainment in Alcohol and Other Drug work
Statement of Attainment in Business Administration - Computing Skills
Statement of Attainment in Business Skills for Supervisors
Statement of Attainment in Construction Materials and Work Health and Safety
Statement of Attainment in Create and Design Spreadsheets
Statement of Attainment in Digital Security Basics
Statement of Attainment in Drones in Agriculture
Statement of Attainment in Emotional Intelligence
Statement of Attainment in Food Handling
Statement of Attainment in Food Safety Supervision
Statement of Attainment in Introduction to Accounting
Statement of Attainment in Introduction to Community Pharmacy
Statement of Attainment in Introduction to Community Services Industry
Statement of Attainment in Introduction to Real Estate
Statement of Attainment in Medical Administration
Statement of Attainment in Medical Terminology
Statement of Attainment in Producing Documents and Spreadsheets
Statement of Attainment in Reading and Writing for Adults
Statement of Attainment in Reading Plans for Builders
Statement of Attainment in Small Business
Statement of Attainment in Start Your Career in Beauty
Statement of Attainment in Start Your Career in Hairdressing/Barbering
Business Ready Skill Set
Care Skill Set
Entry Into Care Roles Skill Set
Hospitality Service Skill Set
Infection Control Skill Set
Infection Control Skill Set (Food Handling)
Infection Control Skill Set (Retail)
Infection Control Skill Set (Transport And Logistics)
Introduction To Cyber Security Skill Set
Lead and Coach Agri Workers
Building & Construction
Build Your Skills – Construction Taster Program
Develop Your Digital Skills
Use Digital Technologies to Communicate Remotely
User Experience Design
Intro to Café Operations
Barista Training Skill Set
The Front Office Experience
Tourism Customer Service
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
Agricultural chemical skill set
Certificate II in community services
Certificate II in community services
Certificate III in community services
Certificate II in information, digital media and technology
Certificate IV in child, youth and family
Certificate IV in cyber security
Certificate IV in information technology
Diploma of leadership and management
Note: These online courses are available to Territorians but may be offered by other providers or jurisdictions, e.g. TAFE SA or TAFE QLD. More information is available on the NT Government’s Free training courses webpage .