Smart and Skilled - TAFE NSW - Northern Sydney

Smart and Skilled

Smart and Skilled is the NSW Government’s reform of vocational education and training across the state.

By giving more students access to government subsidised training in priority industry areas, the reform is helping people in NSW get the skills they need to find jobs with the best opportunities for growth in the future.

What does government subsidised/funded mean?

A subsidised course means that the NSW Government will pay a part of the student fee on your behalf - all you need to do is pay the balance, which is less than the actual qualification price.

Which courses are government subsidised in NSW?

Each year, the NSW Government publishes a ‘Skills List’ of the courses that will be subsidised under Smart and Skilled. The NSW Government also determines the fees for all courses on the list.

Only Smart and Skilled approved providers can offer government subsidised training places to eligible students.

TAFE NSW Northern Sydney is an approved Smart and Skilled training provider for over 200 government subsidised courses on the 2016 NSW Skills List. This means, if you are eligible and there is a subsidised place available, you will pay a subsidised fee for these courses when you enrol with us. Subsidised places may be limited for some courses.

We also offer many qualifications that are not on the Skills List such as degree programs, specialist short courses, professional development workshops and qualifications from Certificate IV up to Advanced Diploma. These courses are not funded by the government but are offered at very competitive prices and for most there are student loans or payment plans available.

Who is eligible for government subsidised training?

For new students in 2017, you are eligible for government subsidised training under Smart and Skilled if you are:

  • an Australian or New Zealand citizen, permanent resident or humanitarian visa holder AND
  • aged 15 years or older and no longer at school AND
  • living or working in New South Wales.

If you meet these personal eligibility criteria, you will have access to a subsidised training place in all Smart and Skilled courses, regardless of any previous qualifications you may hold. Places may be limited in some higher level courses.


  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students living or working in specified interstate regions closely bordering NSW may also be eligible for subsidised training under Smart and Skilled.
  • HSC, Tertiary Preparation and TAFE delivered HSC Vocational Education and Training (TVET) courses are still subsidised by the government but are funded outside Smart and Skilled. All students in these courses will be eligible for a subsidised fee.

Refugees and asylum seekers

On 1 January 2017, changes were made to the eligibility requirements to access fee-free training for qualifications that are on the NSW Skills List (up to Certificate IV level). For more information see our Refugees and Asylum seeker page.

How much will I pay?

Fees for Smart and Skilled courses have been set by the NSW Government and will be the same for all NSW training organisations offering government subsidised courses.

Once you meet the eligibility requirements for a subsidised fee, how much you will actually pay depends on:

  • which course you choose
  • your previous post-school qualifications
  • if you are an apprentice or trainee
  • if you are eligible for a concession or exemption (see below)
  • if you are eligible for Recognition of Prior Learning or credit transfer

To estimate your fee for a particular government subsidised course, click on APPLY or ENROL next to your chosen course offering. You will be able to check your eligibility and estimate your individual fee before entering the application process.

See Fees and financial assistance for more details.

Exemptions and Concessions

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students or students with a disability and their dependants may be eligible for fee exemptions when they enrol in government subsidised training. Students receiving welfare benefits and the dependants of welfare recipients may be eligible for concession fees for courses up to Certificate IV. See Exemptions & concessions for more details.

Lower-cost foundation skills and prevocational courses are also available for people who want help with language, literacy, numeracy, or vocational skills in targeted areas to help them get a job or enter further training.

There will no longer be concession fees available for Diploma and Advanced Diploma courses but these students can apply for a VET Student Loan.

How do I enrol in a government subsidised course?

See Enrolling and registering for step by step instructions how to enrol in a government subsidised course.

Don't forget to get your Unique Student Identifier (USI) before your enrol. All government subsidised training is nationally recognised, so you need to have a current USI to enrol.

Further Information or call State Training Services Customer Support
Centre on 1300 772 104

2017 NSW Skills List

Enrolling and registering

Fees and financial assistance

Smart and Skilled Student Information Pack