What is Smart and Skilled?

The reforms were in full effect from 1 January 2015. These reforms will provide more consistent skills training to better meet students' and industries' needs. Students apply for a government subsidy for courses on the 2017 Skills List.

TAFE NSW offers many of the courses found on the 2017 NSW Skills List. With us, you'll learn the high-demand skills that employers want now and into the future. Courses are enrolling now and start at various times throughout the year. Give your local a call to see if you are eligible for a government subsidy for your chosen course.

What is the NSW Skills List?

The 2017 NSW Skills List shows the courses that the NSW Government will subsidise for eligible students. The courses on this list are linked to industries that have been determined as a high priority for the state.

The 2017 NSW Skills List includes:

  • Select foundation skills courses to help you improve your language, literacy, numeracy learning or employability skills
  • Certificate l to Advanced Diploma qualifications
  • All apprenticeships and selected new entrant traineeships
  • Some part-qualifications for key groups and industry sectors

At TAFE NSW, we know that finding the right job is important to you. We help people get their first job, upskill or reskill. Contact your local TAFE to see if you are eligible for a Smart and Skilled place in a course of your choice.

Am I eligible for a government subsidy under Smart and Skilled?

If you are a new student who is enrolling in a course listed on the 2017 NSW Skills List, you may be eligible for government subsidised training if you are:

  • An Australian citizen, permanent resident or humanitarian visa holder, or New Zealand citizen, AND
  • Aged 15 years or older and no longer at school AND
  • Living or working in NSW

The subsidised courses you are eligible for will depend on your previous qualifications.

If you don't have a post-school qualification higher than Certificate III, you will be eligible for subsidised training for all courses on the 2017 Skills List. If you already have a post-school qualification at Certificate IV or higher, you will be eligible for subsidised training in courses on the 2017 Skills List at Certificate IV, Diploma or Advanced Diploma level as well as any apprenticeship or new entrant traineeship course. All registered NSW apprentices are eligible for subsidised training under Smart and Skilled. New entrant trainees are also eligible for subsidised training if their course is on the 2017 NSW Skills List.

What will I pay?

In 2015, the big change is that you will be given the fee for the full qualification, not a fee each semester. You will be able to pay this in instalments.

All Smart and Skilled providers will charge the same student fee because the NSW Government has fixed course fees. The fees vary according to the level of the course and the price the Government has determined for the qualification. Your course fee will also vary according to your individual circumstances.

The 2015 Student Fees show detailed fees for each course, but generally:

  • The 'First Qualification fee' will apply if you have no previous post-school qualification
  • 'Second or Further Qualification fee' will apply if you already have a post-school qualification
  • The 'Apprenticeship fee' will apply if you are a registered apprentice and will be capped at $2,000
  • Foundation Skills student fees will be $220-$320, or $80 if you are eligible for concession

Remember, there are lots of different paths to a TAFE NSW qualification that employers recognise and value. A Smart and Skilled place in a course is not the only way you can get your dream job. If you are not eligible for government-subsidised training, or the limited places are already filled, talk to TAFE NSW staff about fee for service courses, payment options and whether you are eligible for a VET Student Loans loan.

Student loans

If you are enrolling in Diplomas, Advanced Diplomas or select Certificate IV courses, you may be eligible to access a VET Student Loan to repay when your income reaches a certain threshold.

Find out more Fee Information.

Don't forget to get your Unique Student Identifier (USI)

What is a Unique Student Identifier?

A Unique Student Identifier or USI

  • Is made up of 10 numbers and letters
  • Gives you access to an account that contains your completed training records and results from 1 January 2015 onwards
  • Will help you provide evidence of your studies when you apply for a job or undertake further study.

If you are a student studying nationally-recognised training at a registered training organisation like TAFE NSW, you will need to have a Unique Student Identifier (USI) from 1 January 2015. The USI will give you ongoing access to your records and results, so they are always available if you choose to enrol in further training or need to show a future employer.

When you register for the USI, you also need to give permission for your TAFE NSW location to view your USI and access your records. Results from 2017 will be available in your USI account in 2018.