Future Skills WA

Future Skills WA

Future Skills WA

As Western Australia’s economy grows and diversifies, the outlook for jobs is constantly changing. Future Skills WA is the way the State Government, through the Department, prioritises its investment in training to focus on courses that equip people to take up jobs that are, or will be, in high demand. To do this, Future Skills WA provides a guaranteed, subsidised training place for eligible students enrolled in courses that are deemed State priority qualifications, where a training place is available.

Apprenticeships and traineeships are a priority for the State Government. Other priority training areas are identified on the State’s Priority industry qualifications list (current list: effective 1 November 2017).

Many other important industry qualifications are also subsidised under Future Skills WA as general industry training courses and foundation skills and equity courses. However, students are not guaranteed a place in these courses.


What is the Future Skills WA guarantee, and am I eligible?

Future Skills WA provides a guaranteed, subsidised training place for eligible students enrolled in courses that are deemed State priority qualifications, where a training place is available. The guarantee means that for State priority courses, the Government will not limit the number of training places it subsidises.

Under Future Skills WA, there is no upper age limit and no restrictions based on your previous level of awarded qualification.

You are eligible for a guaranteed training place if you have left school, your primary place of residence is in Western Australia and you are:

  • an Australian citizen; or
  • a permanent visa holder or holder of visa subclass 309, 820 or 826; or
  • a dependent or spouse of the primary holder of a visa subclass 457.

Your place in the course will be guaranteed and your training subsidised if:

  • the course has been identified as a State priority course;
  • a TAFE or a preferred private training provider has a training place available; and
  • you meet the normal entrance requirements for the course.

Interstate apprentices and trainees may be eligible for publicly funded training in WA. Please refer to the Department’s VET fees and charges policy for eligibility requirements.


What courses are available and subsidised?

Future Skills WA courses are classified as:

  • State priority training courses;
  • general industry training courses;
  • existing worker traineeships; and
  • foundation skills and equity courses.

The main difference between these is that students are guaranteed a place in State priority courses but not in general industry training, existing worker traineeships or foundation skills and equity courses. They are also subject to different fee and subsidy levels.

Students can choose from over 600 State priority training courses, offering opportunities to gain valuable skills and qualifications that secure jobs and build successful careers.

Further information about each of these course classifications for Future Skills WA, their availability and level of subsidy, is provided below to help students decide what sort of training suits their requirements. There is also further information about choosing a training course in the Training section of this website.


Course classifications

State priority training courses (including priority industry qualifications)

These courses provide skills and knowledge that align with current needs for industry and employers. Future Skills WA will guarantee eligible students a State Government subsidised training place in these State priority training courses in Western Australia, and these courses attract the highest level of Government subsidy.

State priority training courses include:

  • over 150 priority industry qualifications;
  • all apprenticeships and many traineeships; and
  • two priority foundation courses.
Priority industry qualifications

Priority industry qualifications equip students to take up jobs in skilled occupations that are in high demand across Western Australia. Priority industry qualifications change each year as the Western Australian economy changes.

Qualifications that no longer align to the highest priority jobs in the State are called transitional qualifications. These transitional qualifications will remain on the Priority industry qualifications list for at least one additional year and are highlighted in the list. Importantly, transitional qualifications may be reclassified as general industry training in 2018 and attract a higher fee.

View the list of priority industry qualifications for 2017 (current list: effective 1 November 2017)

General industry training courses

The State Government subsidises courses for many important industry qualifications that fall outside of the State priority training courses; these are called general industry training courses. This recognises the benefits training brings to students, to industry and to the State as a whole. The main difference between State priority courses and general industry training courses is that students are not guaranteed a place in general industry training courses, so they may be more competitive to get into. They are also subject to different fee and subsidy levels.

If you would like to study a State Government subsidised general industry training course, please contact a TAFE college directly or check the TAFE Choices website to see which courses they offer. Some preferred private training providers also offer a range of general industry training courses, to individuals who require additional assistance to access training. Specific student eligibility requirements apply.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

There are more than 500 State priority listed apprenticeships and traineeships to choose from in a broad range of industries. You can find out more about apprenticeships and traineeships here.

View the list of apprenticeships (February 2017)

View the list of eligible traineeships (August 2017)

Existing worker traineeships

The Government also subsidises eligible existing workers to undertake traineeships in higher level (ie Certificate IV and above) priority courses. An existing worker is defined as a person employed with the same employer continuously for more than three months full time or 12 months casual or part time or a combination of both, immediately prior to the commencement date of the training contract.

Existing worker traineeship qualifications that were funded in 2016 and did not meet the criteria for inclusion on the list in 2017 will continue to be funded under a transitional arrangement whereby:

  • trainees who are studying transitional qualifications and whose training contracts were received by the Department of Training and Workforce Development’s Apprenticeship Office on or prior to 31 December 2017 will be funded until completion; and
  • trainees who are studying transitional qualifications whose training contracts were received by the Department of Training and Workforce Development’s Apprenticeship Office after 31 December 2017 may not be funded in 2018.

View the 2017 list of existing worker traineeships that the Government subsidises. Transitional qualifications are marked with an asterisk.

Foundation skills and equity courses

Under Future Skills WA, students have access to two priority foundation skills courses – the Course in Applied Vocational Study Skills (CAVSS) and the Course in Underpinning Skills for Industry Qualifications (USIQ). These courses aim to build a student’s literacy, numeracy and employability skills to increase their chance of finishing their industry qualification.

These two priority foundation skills courses are always co-delivered with an industry qualification and are fully subsidised (free of charge to the student). Students who are already enrolled with an approved training provider in a Certificate II, III or IV industry qualification will be able to receive support and access these courses if the training provider makes a judgement that this will increase their chances of successfully finishing their training.

View the Priority foundation skills courses fact sheet

Other foundation skills and equity courses

The WA Government is committed to supporting students in developing language, literacy, numeracy and employability skills. Employability skills are the skills required for participation in the workplace such as collaboration, problem solving, self-management, digital literacy and technology skills. As well as guaranteeing free access to two priority foundation skills courses, the State Government also subsidises the majority of course costs for over 30 other foundation skills courses so that students pay only a relatively small fee.

The foundation skills course list outlines all the courses that are currently eligible to receive a government subsidy, subject to available budget.

View the list of foundation skills courses (v8.0 effective Nov 2017)

Equity courses promote equality of opportunity in gaining access to vocational education and training or employment. Like foundation skills courses, students pay a relatively small fee for equity courses.

The list of equity courses identifies the accredited courses and qualifications that are currently eligible to receive a government subsidy, subject to available budget.

View the list of equity skills courses


For training providers

Future Skills WA encourages healthy competition among providers and offers enhanced choices to students and employers.

Under Future Skills WA, contracting arrangement processes have been streamlined and strengthened to support greater quality training provision. The focus is on efficient and effective selection and management of contracted private registered training organisations.

All information for training providers, VET practitioners and schools can be found in the Training providers and schools section of this website.

Page last updated March 08, 2017