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Skill up in lockdown: All 189 free TAFE courses in every state

Image of student sawing wood with teacher and Tafe NSW building and logo
There are literally hundreds of TAFE courses you can do online and for free. (Source: AAP)

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.

Also read:

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 extensive course list, 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 myskills website 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 14 no-fee ‘SKILL UP’ courses, including several in digital skills, some in tourism and hospitality like cafe operations and barista training, as well as agriculture and building and construction.

Many of the free online training courses in the Northern Territory are in community services, health and education, as well as some in computing such as digital media or certificates in cybersecurity.

In the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), there are just five courses you can learn for free: food handling, and four infection control skill set courses.

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 2021 Federal Budget 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 Your Career website 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

More information on NSW TAFE free courses is available here.


More information on Victoria’s free TAFE courses here.


$0 JobTrainer-funded courses (More information here)

UNDER 25 (more information here)


  • 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

Note: These were the courses that are both free and available remotely. More information here.


Check the myskills website here for $0 and “free or low-fee” courses in South Australia or other states.


  • Lead and Coach Agri Workers

  • Building & Construction

  • Build Your Skills – Construction Taster Program

  • Business Computing

  • Develop Your Digital Skills

  • Use Digital Technologies to Communicate Remotely

  • User Experience Design

  • Medical Terminology

  • Infection Control

  • Intro to Café Operations

  • Barista Training Skill Set

  • The Front Office Experience

  • Tourism Customer Service

More information on TasTAFE no-fee SKILL UP courses here.


More information on the ACT’s free courses are available here.


  • 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 here.

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