Skip to main content Skip to main navigation
Skip to access and inclusion page Skip to search input

Upskilling courses: COVID-19 free and discounted online training

If your job has been affected due to COVID-19, either through being temporarily stood down or job loss, you could be eligible to upskill with free or discounted online training from a range of Federal and State Government initiatives.

Here’s a summary of training opportunities around the country that could help with your career development as the economy improves.

Australia-wide discounted online training

As part of the Australian Government’s Higher Education Package, the cost of studying a range of online courses offered at universities and other higher education providers has been significantly reduced. 

These short courses are being offered in areas deemed to be of national priority, such as teaching, nursing, health, science and information. Running for up to six months, they have been specifically set up to allow Australians who have been made unemployed or stood down due to COVID-19 to enhance their employable skills, either in an entirely new field or to add to their existing skillset. 

Depending on the course and previous level of studies, students will either be awarded an Undergraduate Certificate or a Graduate Certificate upon successfully completing the course. 

Courses cost either $1,250 or $2,500, depending on field of study chosen and eligible students can get a HECS-HELP loan to cover the cost, which is then repaid once earning above a certain threshold.

Explore available courses

TAFE NSW free courses to upskill 

Eligible residents of NSW can access a number of free online courses at TAFE NSW. Created in conjunction with the NSW Government, the aim is 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. 

The courses offered cover a wide range disciplines, including 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 to 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. 

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 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 have been 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 you with your next steps. We’ve created a handy guide to help you achieve the next step on your career development plan. Read our article on Preparing for your next job.

Related articles: 

Why ‘micro’ courses are catching on

Micro-credentials can offer a short, sharp and cost-effective opportunity for learning.

Sleep easy knowing you’ve got emergencies covered

There are many things that can disturb your sleep when it comes to money. Having an emergency fund saved can help to ease those concerns. 

Things you should know

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