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Smart and Skilled

Smart and Skilled

Smart and Skilled is a government reform of the NSW vocational education and training system.

Smart and Skilled provides eligible students with an entitlement to government subsidised training up to and including Certificate III level courses.   Government funding for higher level courses (Certificate IV and above) might also be available in targeted priority areas.

If you are considering taking advantage of the NSW Government’s new fee arrangements for government-subsidised vocational education and training (VET), TAFE NSW is a great choice as your training provider because we offer a wide range of subsidised courses, expertly delivered by teachers with industry knowledge and experience.

One of the changes under this new system, known as Smart and Skilled, is that every training provider, including TAFE NSW, must charge the same fixed price for NSW government-subsidised qualifications.
Courses that receive government funded support under Smart and Skilled are shown on the NSW Skills List with some other specific courses approved for support outside this arrangement.

Also, if you are eligible you can benefit from a Smart and Skilled ‘Fee-Free Scholarship’ that means you pay no course fee and study for free. 

What price will you pay?

The price of your government subsidised course is made up of two portions:  the part the government pays (government subsidy) and the part you pay (student fee).  You pay this fee only once, even if it takes you more than a year to complete your course.

The amount you pay for your student fee depends on your eligibility.  You may be entitled to a concession (you pay a reduced fee) or an exemption (you pay no fee). 

You can get a fee estimate for the course you’ve chosen by clicking on the ‘Apply now’ button located on the course page (Under ‘Find a Course‘).

Fee-free scholarships

The NSW Government is offering ‘Fee-Free Scholarships’ for eligible learners to study fee free under Smart and Skilled, with priority given to young people living in (or on the waiting list for) social housing.

If you are aged between 15 and 30 and meet the eligibility criteria, a Smart and Skilled Fee-Free Scholarship means you may be exempt from paying a course fee.

There are 50,000 scholarships available in the 2017/18 financial year.

To find out if you are eligible for a Fee-Free Scholarship please call us on 1300 823 336

For more information download this State Training Service Fact Sheet.

Who is eligible for subsidised training under Smart and Skilled?

If you are 15 or over:


  • no longer at school, and
  • living or working in NSW (or an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person living in specific NSW border areas), and
  • an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, Australian permanent humanitarian visa holder or New Zealand citizen

  • a NSW apprentice or trainee
You may be eligible to enrol in a government-subsidised course with an approved Smart and Skilled training provider, provided they have places available in the particular course.
Your eligibility for specific courses depends on your previous qualifications:
  • If you haven't completed a Certificate IV or higher-level qualification, you're entitled to enrol in a subsidised course up to Certificate III level.
  • You can enrol in subsidised training in targeted priority areas at Certificate IV, Diploma or Advanced Diploma level, depending on the availability of funding for these courses. Having completed a Certificate IV or higher-level qualification does not affect eligibility.
NSW apprentices and most new-entrant trainees are eligible for a government subsidy for the training that supports their apprenticeship or traineeship. Their previous qualifications do not affect their eligibility.

Need more information on Smart and Skilled?

For more information on Smart and Skilled eligibility, click here.
Alternatively you can speak to an advisor by phoning 1300 772 104 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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