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Upskilling courses: free and discounted online training

Find out if you’re eligible to upskill with free or discounted online training from a range of government and other initiatives. Here’s a summary of training opportunities that could help with your skills development as the economy improves.

October 2020 – 4 minute read

What’s in this article:

  • Financial upskilling
  • State-wide training opportunities
  • Help for managing job loss


Financial upskilling

Fifty-two percent of us are spending more time managing our money because of COVID-19, a recent Westpac survey has found. In fact, we’re spending about an hour a week extra.

Online and free Davidson Institute’s courses and resources have been put together to help develop your financial skills. The Financial Fitness course, covering off basic personal finance topics and helping you understand key financial concepts, takes around an hour to do. Its practical, self-paced learning uses a variety of resources, including interactive tools.

Maybe, you’ve got a passion project or side hustle you want to get off the ground? Davidson Institute business courses may also help get you started.

TAFE NSW free courses to upskill 

Eligible residents of NSW can access free online courses at TAFE NSW. Created with the NSW Government, the courses aim to help people affected by COVID-19 retrain or upskill themselves to help enhance their employable skills and prepare them for when the economy improves. Courses can be completed in as little as a few days and offer practical skills across a range of industries. 

Courses cover a wide range of topics and include developing administration skills, managing your digital impact, practical business skills and growing your health and medical knowledge.

Find out more about free online TAFE NSW courses

Training opportunities for Queensland residents

TAFE Queensland has partnered with the Queensland Government to offer a range of upskilling opportunities for eligible Queensland residents and businesses who have been impacted by COVID-19. Known as ‘isolearn courses’, these courses can either help participants learn entirely new skills for a potential career change or upskill to help improve employment prospects.

Find out more about free training in Queensland

Free online courses for residents of Tasmania

TasTAFE in Tasmania are offering a range of online short courses that enable eligible Tasmanian residents affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19 to upskill, reskill or gain new skills. Designed to prepare students to enter employment or change careers when the local economy starts to recover, available courses cover a range of industries including health, community services, business, hospitality and tourism.

Find out more about free online TasTAFE courses

Training opportunities in the Northern Territory

Focussed on providing practical skills to get people ready for work, the Northern Territory Government is funding a range of short online courses, available to eligible residents. Most courses are free, although a small administration and resource fee may apply to some. 

Courses on offer to help with upskilling and career development include hospitality, health, education, practical business skills, digital skills and skills for tradies.

Find out more about opportunities in the Northern Territory

Online training and studying opportunities in South Australia, Western Australia, VIC and the ACT

Although the state governments of South Australia, Western Australia and the ACT haven’t introduced free or discounted online training opportunities as a result of COVID-19, it may be worthwhile taking a look at what courses are available at TAFEs in your state or territory. Many courses are available online and you may be eligible for a HECS-HELP loan to cover the cost.


TAFE South Australia

TAFE Western Australia


TAFE Victoria

Help for managing job loss

If you’re dealing with the impact of losing your job or being stood down due to COVID-19, you might want to take a look at our article for Managing job loss to help with your next steps. There’s also a handy guide to help you achieve the next step on your career development plan with Preparing for your next job.

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Things you should know

© Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL and Australian credit licence 233714.