Learn skills you'll need in the workplace
Flexible learning options allow you to study units online or combine your study with work
You can learn just about anything and gain nationally recognised qualifications at your local TAFE
There’s nothing else like TAFE in Australia. These public colleges operate across the nation, and TAFE graduates can feel confident their skills will be transferable and applicable wherever they choose to work.
To ensure that students get the most out of their study experience TAFE colleges also offer a broad range of student support services. From orientation and activity programs to assistance with housing and counselling, TAFE colleges aim to offer a secure and supportive environment to all students.
The focus at TAFE is on student success and practical training that is designed to prepare students for the workplace. Courses are developed in consultation with business and industry to ensure skills are relevant and in demand.
What's the difference between TAFE and University?
At University you learn theoretical knowledge and develop a broad understanding of topics. TAFE teaches you practical skills for a specific workplace.
For example, a Cert IV in Aged Care teaches all the skills you’d need to work in aged care (either in a client’s home or an aged care facility) and includes an element of work experience. You’ll graduate ready to work, with skills that are immediately useful to an employer.
After university many graduates undertake further training or internships to learn job-specific skills, so while their degree may take 3 or 4 years, it may actually be much longer than that before they are working effectively.
Most Australian universities will recognise your TAFE qualifications, and you can use them to gain credit towards further study. This will make it quicker for you to upskill in the future.
How do I apply?
Think you want to go to TAFE but not sure where to start? We’ve broken it all down for you here
Do you know what you want to study?
Each course will lead you in a different direction. If you already know what you want to study, then you need to find a course in that Study Area, which you can do on your local TAFE’s website.
If you don’t know what you want to do that’s ok – spend some time reading about various study areas, check out our careers pages, and try an online Career Profiler, like this one from TAFE Queensland.
Read the rules
When you apply to TAFE you agree to adhere to student guidelines and pay certain fees, so it’s a good idea to read all the paperwork thoroughly before you commit to anything. If there’s something you’re not sure about just pick up the phone and call the TAFE for an explanation.
Once you’ve enrolled you can’t just decide to not pay the fees – if you do it could stop you from doing any other training – make sure you’ve done your research.
How are you going to pay for it?
TAFE offers LOTS of financial support for students, and many courses are free (or almost free) for school leavers. But before you apply, you need to know what funding support you are eligible for and how to make sure you get it.
Read the fee details in the course handbook, and if in doubt just check with the TAFE before you apply.
Apply Online directly to TAFE
Once you’ve found the right course for you simply click on ‘Apply Now’ to start your journey.
Not ready to commit? Click ‘Enquire Now’ instead – someone from the TAFE will be in touch soon to walk you through your options and help you apply.
You may need forms or other documents through the process, but the TAFE will tell you what you need and how you need to submit it. Make sure you pay attention to any deadlines, or you may lose your spot.
Vocational Education & Training
‘Vocational Education’ means training that prepares you to work in a job – so it’s directly related to the work you’ll be doing once you graduate.
TAFE is just one part of the VET system – VET covers all vocational training in Australia.
While TAFEs are run by the government, there are also similar institutions run by private businesses. They’re called things like colleges, training providers, or course providers.
The main difference between TAFE and other providers is that TAFE is standardised and run by the government, whereas private providers have more freedom to offer additional services to students, although these usually come with an associated cost.
Which one is right for you?
That depends on your unique situation and study needs. Both TAFE and private providers offer courses online and on-campus, and both are quality controlled by the Australian Skills Quality Authority.
Government Funded places are now available for private providers, so you could be eligible for a government-subsidised course no matter which option you choose.
If you’d like to search for all available courses (not just the ones offered by your TAFE), check out TAFECourses.com.au
They’ve put together a comprehensive listing of all the courses, and you can search by study area and location.
Find a TAFE Institute near you
There are hundreds of TAFE Campuses in locations across Australia, plus online study options, so you’re bound to find a place to study
With more than 30 study areas and 1,800 courses, TAFE Victoria can help you to:
- Find a pathway to your chosen career and the right qualification for your dream job
- Improve your skills, knowledge and prospects of excelling in your job
- Explore a new area and expand your interests
- Discover a rich learning environment with small class sizes and supportive and easily-accessible teachers
- Find the best flexible option – full-time or part-time study, face-to-face learning or online.
Interested in FREE TAFE?
Eligibility criteria apply. Free TAFE on selected courses only. Other fees and charges may apply. See eligibility.
Apprenticeship pathway courses
- Certificate II in Automotive Air Conditioning Technology
- Certificate II in Automotive Body Repair Technology
- Certificate II in Automotive Servicing Technology
- Certificate II in Automotive Vocational Preparation
- Certificate II in Baking
- Certificate II in Building and Construction Pre-apprenticeship
- Certificate II in Construction Pathways
- Certificate II in Electrotechnology Studies (Pre-vocational)
- Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start)
- Certificate II in Engineering Pathways
- Certificate II in Engineering Studies
- Certificate II in Furniture Making
- Certificate II in Glass and Glazing
- Certificate II in Horticulture
- Certificate II in Meat Processing (Food Services)
- Certificate II in Plumbing (Pre-apprenticeship)
- Certificate II in Printing and Graphic Arts (General)
- Certificate II in Production Nursery
- Certificate II in Salon Assistant
- Certificate II in Signage and Graphics
- Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping
- Diploma of Accounting
- Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs
- Advanced Diploma of Accounting
- Certificate IV in Ageing Support
- Certificate II in Agriculture
- Certificate III in Agriculture
- Certificate IV in Agriculture
- Certificate III in Agriculture (Dairy Production)
- Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance
- Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance
- Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building)
- Diploma of Building and Construction (Building)
- Advanced Diploma of Building Surveying
- Certificate IV in Child, Youth and Family Intervention
- Certificate III in Civil Construction
- Certificate IV in Civil Construction Supervision
- Certificate III in Commercial Cookery
- Certificate III in Community Services
- Certificate IV in Community Services
- Diploma of Community Services
- Certificate III in Concreting
- Certificate III in Construction Waterproofing
- Certificate IV in Cyber Security
- Certificate III in Dental Assisting
- Certificate IV in Dental Assisting
- Certificate IV in Disability
- Certificate III in Education Support
- Certificate IV in Education Support
- Certificate IV in Engineering
- Certificate III in Horticulture
- Certificate III in Hospitality
- Certificate III in Individual Support
- Diploma of Justice
- Certificate IV in Mental Health
- Diploma of Nursing
- Certificate IV in Plumbing and Service
- Certificate III in Rail Infrastructure
- Certificate III in Tourism
- Certificate IV in Youth Work
TAFE NSW trains around half a million students each year at 130 locations around the state. Find them all here.
They offer a range of vocational courses including short courses and certificates to Diploma and Advanced Diploma level. TAFE NSW is also registered as a higher education provider and offers degree level programs across a range of vocations.
You can study full time or part time, online or in person, or a combination that suits your lifestyle.
Find out about pathways to TAFE:
- Courses for school students
- Short courses
- Online courses
- Apprenticeships and traineeships
- Subsidised training and qualifications
- TAFE NSW Degrees
And, they’ve put together a huge amount of info for school students to help you prepare for TAFE.
There are lots of other VET options to choose from
The Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) is the ACT’s largest education and training provider, with more people studying at CIT than any other provider in the ACT. CIT’s students include school leavers, first-time employees, those seeking to change careers, or to enhance their existing career.
CIT offers over 700 courses, including bachelor degrees to local, national and international students to equip them to work effectively in business and industry or go onto further tertiary study.
CIT teachers have industry experience and will work with you in a flexible, supportive environment, including smaller class sizes, hands-on activities, great facilities and equipment. Students benefit from this expertise, support and personal attention.
CIT enjoys excellent working relationships with many international institutions and is host to international students from over 50 countries.
CIT can also tailor a workforce development solution specifically for an individual business, employer or industry.
See the Course Guide
Have you heard of Skilled Capital?
Skilled Capital is an ACT Government funded program that provides services and subsidies for students. Find out if you’re eligible and find a training provider here.
TAFE Queensland offers an extensive range of education and training programs.
TAFE programs range from areas as diverse as arts and entertainment, tourism and hospitality, fashion, business and community services to automotive, engineering, science and technology and building and construction.
TAFE Queensland is the largest, most experienced provider of vocational education, training and adult learning in Queensland.
TAFE programs are highly focused to ensure you learn industry relevant skills to help get you into the workplace faster, upgrade existing skills, or prepare for further study.
One of TAFE’s major advantages is flexibility. Choose from a range of study options including full time, part time, on campus, online, in the workplace or by distance learning.
Other training options
The Queensland Skills Gateway has a huge amount of information, including a course search tool that’ll let you search every approved training provider in the state for courses, as well as community training projects that can help you upskill ready to start work.
Start exploring your options here.
TAFE SA represents a network of three independent institutes, two in metropolitan Adelaide: TAFE SA Adelaide North Institute & TAFE SA Adelaide South Institute, and one which covers regional South Australia: TAFE SA Regional.
These institutes are the leading and largest public providers of vocational education and training (VET) in South Australia delivering courses to an average of 80,000 students per year across more than 48 sites state wide. TAFE SA institutes offer training across more than 80 activity and industry-related areas.
You could also try the SA Government's WorkReady Program
WorkReady offers a wide variety of vocational education and training courses.
Search for courses available from WorkReady Service Providers.
Contact a WorkReady Service Provider to confirm your eligibility if you find a course you are interested in studying. They can tell you about the training and conduct an assessment of your needs and suitability to undertake and successfully complete the course.
Find a training course here, or get help with your training while you’re still at school:
Learn skills to help you get a job through vocational education and training (VET) while you’re at school
The training guarantee for SACE students offers a guaranteed funded training place when you leave school
How to start an Australian school based apprenticeship or traineeship while you’re in Year 10, 11 or 12
TAFE WA is now called Jobs & Skills WA, and they offer over over 3,000 publicly funded VET courses and qualifications.
In today’s competitive market, having the right skills and qualifications is important. Vocational education and training (VET) provides practical skills and knowledge aligned with the needs of industry and business, through nationally recognised qualifications.
As Western Australia’s economy grows and diversifies, the outlook for jobs is constantly changing. Jobs and Skills WA is the way the State Government prioritises its investment in training to focus on courses that equip people to take up jobs that are or will be in high demand, and in the services provided to support people to achieve successful training and employment outcomes.
Your local Jobs and Skills Centre is your one-stop-shop for information, advice and support about vocational education and training.
A range of training options and courses are available and subsidised under Jobs and Skills WA. Priority training areas include apprenticeships, eligible traineeships, and priority industry qualifications. Many other important industry qualifications are also subsidised under Jobs and Skills WA, including pre-apprenticeships, general industry training courses, and foundation and equity courses.
And there are even more available here.
In the Northern Territory all VET qualifications are delivered by private institutions, including Charles Darwin University.
Here’s a list of your options:
Alana Kaye College
Alana Kaye College was founded in 2011 in the far north of Australia and offers nationally recognised qualifications in early childhood education and care to international students in the Northern Territory. The Darwin Campus is located very close to the City of Darwin and the City of Palmerston and is accessible by public transport with parking available close to the college campus.
The Australian Careers College (ACC) Darwin offers certificate and diploma courses for international students in the Northern Territory across business, management, accounting, aged care, home and community care and early childhood education and care.
BCA National, Darwin delivers nationally recognised qualifications in business and finance, and community services sector courses for international students. The Darwin campus is located in the lovely suburb of Parap, home to the Parap arts, crafts and food markets on Saturdays. The campus is fitted out with comfortable classrooms, student breakout areas, and is easily accessible from Darwin city’s Central Business District.
Carey Training delivers high quality vocational education and training courses including specialising in the civil and general construction and mining related vocations. They deliver pre-employment Certificate II level courses and also programs from Certificate III to Diploma for upskilling people. Carey Training are committed to the pursuit of excellence and provision of the highest quality vocational education and training experiences for all students.
Charles Darwin University (CDU) is a dual sector university with several campuses across the Northern Territory offering a wide range of courses including business, engineering and IT, health sciences, education, creative arts, and vocational education and training including hospitality and trades.
ih Business College (ihBC) delivers vocational education and training courses to prepare future professionals for a fast moving world. We are committed to providing quality training and internationally recognised qualifications, which gives our graduates a true advantage when seeking employment opportunities worldwide.
TasTAFE is the largest vocational education and training provider in Tasmania. With 11 campuses, we operate effectively throughout the State and offer more than 250 courses and qualifications.
TasTAFE has an ongoing commitment to meeting Tasmanian community expectations and the needs of all of our students. We recognise that studying can be challenging when you are an adult as you have to balance all of the other demands upon your time. We understand those challenges and strive to provide a range of flexible study options. We understand that learning should be enjoyable and rewarding, in fact we think that most of the time it should be fun!
We believe very strongly in our values and see our role as being to engage with, deliver to, create opportunities for and assist businesses, industry and employers and individuals to meet their varied training needs.