What skills development programs through VET are being offered now in Australia and New Zealand? And what support can training providers access?

If you have time on your hands, have lost a job, need to reskill and/or change industry sectors, then you might want to explore all the skills development programs through VET.  You might be a training or higher education provider, wanting to understand what support is available to your organisation.

Here are lots of links, from all around Australia, as well as New Zealand, in one spot.

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

To support the capacity of the VET sector during the current crisis, Skills Canberra will implement the following measures:

  1. delay the pricing measures introduced in January 2020, to address User Choice and Skilled Capital program budget pressures, until 2021
  2. release additional Skilled Capital places to address emerging workforce needs in response to the COVID-19 crisis
  3. provide RTOs with an ACT Government Training Initiative Funding Agreement access to a 50 per cent unit payment where a student has commenced a unit of competency, but the RTO is not able to finalise assessment due to workplace access and social distancing policies.

Australian Apprenticeships (User Choice) and Skilled Capital qualification subsidy amounts will be returned to 2019 levels and payments backdated for User Choice commencements and Skilled Capital enrolments from 15 January 2020.

Source: Skills Canberra

New South Wales

Fee-free TAFE NSW courses – browse courses here and learn more about our Mature Age Scholarships, Destination Australia Scholarships and Women in Business program.

Up to 5000 TAFE teachers have been training to deliver the courses online, including diplomas in food safety, design, music industry and early childhood education.  Read more here>

Northern Territory

In response to coronavirus (COVID-19), the Northern Territory Government is funding a range of short courses to give you practical skills for work.

Job seekers affected by COVID-19 can get help finding a job, financial support, training opportunities and wellbeing support.


Novel coronavirus support for businesses and employees provides a number of support measures that you can access here.

TAFE Queensland wins the play on words award with marketing the Isolearn series – Why isolate when you can isolearn with free micro credentials.

South Australia

$16 million VET continuity package to maintain skills pipeline where two measures are in place for training providers that have existing contracts with the State Government:

A $4 million investment that enables training providers to put in place delivery modes and technology to support training, students and employers

Continuity of subsidy payments at pre-COVID activity levels for a period of three months until June 2020, after which payments will be reviewed.


$1.5 million Train Now Fund and Rapid Response Skills Initiative - find out more on the Skills Tasmania website.  The Rapid Response Skills Initiative (RRSI) provides up to $3000 towards the cost of training for people who have lost their jobs because they have been made redundant, the place they worked has closed, or the employer had to let staff go.


On 17 April, the Victorian Government announced a $260.8 million support package to ensure Victoria’s TAFE and training system is ready and able to continue to train Victorians in priority industries.  Providers will be informed of their grants and do not need to apply.

A Victorian higher education state investment fund of $350 million will support universities with capital works, applied research and research partnerships focused on boosting Victoria’s productivity and economy as the state recovers from the impacts of the virus, which have hit universities hard.

The Victorian Government has provided $500 million to the Working for Victoria initiative to help our community and contribute to Victoria’s ability to respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

As part of this, a $50-million Agriculture Workforce Plan will provide dedicated support for our agriculture, food processing and critical food supply chain businesses, with information on broader business support here.

Western Australia

Department of Training and Workforce Development Executive and TAFE Managing Directors are working together to ensure the vocational education and training (VET) sector in WA is well placed to manage COVID-19 developments.  Read more here>

Support is available for industry sectors such as tourism, construction, and WA businesses.

The COVID-19 Direct Care Skill Set is available for roll out with new training for the State’s aged care and disability sectors.

Australia wide

Commonwealth Scholarships Program for Young Australians - around 400 young Australians will be supported to participate in vocational education and training (VET) programs through the Commonwealth Scholarships Program for Young Australians (the Program).  Applications for Round 2 are now open until 5:00pm, 24 July 2020 – apply here.

Skills Checkpoint for Older Workers Program providing eligible Australians with advice and guidance on transitioning into new roles within their current industry or pathways to a new career, including referral to relevant education and training options.  The Skills Checkpoint Program will support up to 20,000 older Australians over four years by providing targeted support to help them stay in or get into the workforce – find out more.

Search for accredited online training options first via the My Skills website and support for international students in each state and territory.

Information and resources for Vocational Education and Training providers and ASQA has announced details of fee waivers and reimbursements.

Examples of employers bolstering workforces include BHP with trade apprenticeships and maintenance traineeships.

New Zealand

Government announces $20m Covid-19 fund for tertiary students to access devices, internet.  Read more here>

The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand Ltd, the country’s largest specialist provider of vocational distance learning, has launched a free self-directed course on infection prevention in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Find out more>

Resources to support your move to online teaching - gathered resources from New Zealand, Australia and the rest of the world that may be of help to your organisation as you move to online delivery.

New Zealand has six Workforce Development Council’s, taking a lead in making New Zealand’s workforce fit for today and the future.  With a number of announcements and changes via the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) which is reimagining vocational learning in New Zealand.

Measuring and monitoring the uptake of a variety of measures, from the federal government, states and territories, will show if they have been designed with real business, industry and workforce needs in mind.

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