Courses if you have lost your job

Short courses are a way to quickly gain practical skills and experience after losing your job. There is a range of subjects to choose from across many industries. 

In this section you can find information on:

Course Finder

Course Finder lets you search for online courses offered by multiple universities, TAFEs as well as private and community colleges across Australia.

The Course Finder website:

  • compares over 300 accredited online and distance learning options
  • lists courses ranging from accounting to youth work, with many available as short, single unit subjects
  • allows you to filter your search by industry, study mode or education provider.


In addition to its regular courses, TAFE NSW has developed a number of free online courses that can generally be completed in just days or weeks. Note that:

  • eligibility requirements apply
  • there is a limit of 2 free courses per person
  • each short course requires various levels of commitment and time to complete.

The free short courses are broadly divided across these categories:

  • developing administration skills
  • enhancing your digital impact
  • increasing health and medical knowledge
  • improving leadership performance
  • strengthening practical business skills.

Apart from the free short courses, other subsidised training is also offered, including:

University short courses

The Australian Government is funding a range of higher education online short courses at reduced prices.

The aim is to help unemployed people gain new skills via remote learning. The full-time courses:

  • offer either Undergraduate Certificates or Graduate Certificates
  • are targeted at specific industries, including teaching, allied health, science and information technology
  • take up to 6 months to complete.

Entry requirements and start dates vary for each course. If you need help with costs, you can defer payment through the existing HECS-HELP program.

Open Universities Australia (OUA)

OUA is a partnership between many Australian universities. They offer a wide range of single subject units for study that do not have entry level requirements.

They cover a range of subjects, including:

  • arts and humanities
  • business, education and health
  • information technology 
  • law and justice
  • science and engineering.

These short course single subjects, many of which can be completed in weeks, also allow you to:

  • expand your existing knowledge base
  • upskill to boost your chances of getting a job
  • earn credits towards a degree
  • consider a possible career change.

Community and continuing education colleges

The community and continuing education sector has a unique focus on making learning affordable and accessible. Its wide variety of courses and training can help you:

  • improve or expand existing skills
  • gain new training in preparation for a career change
  • explore a personal interest for individual growth or development.

Classes are often scheduled across multiple weeks and can be held during the day, evening and on weekends.

An increasing number of courses are now being offered online as adult and community education (ACE) providers:

  • update courses with a greater mix of digital content
  • develop their technical and teaching resources to improve online delivery.

Open Colleges

Open Colleges is an Australian company providing online and face-to-face training and education services. 

Their online courses cover a wide range of workplaces and skills that help students retrain, change or take the next step in their careers. 

There are both certificate and diploma level courses plus nationally recognised qualifications offered across:

  • health
  • business
  • trades
  • childhood education
  • design.

Information technology courses

The Australian Computer Society (ACS) has compiled a list of free online technology courses.

They're offered by Australian and overseas universities as well as teaching academies from across the world.

Courses cover many topics, from digital transformation and coding to 3D game development, and are aimed at all levels of learning.

Some of the participating institutions include: