Learning support and assistance

The Department of Training and Workforce Development funds a range of services for students, to assist and support people to be able to access and attend training and improve their employment prospects. Registered training providers who are approved to deliver courses in the Participation – Equity program may offer support and services such as mentoring and counselling, assistance with things like meals, transport and child care, and also language and literacy support. The program also assists with support for job seeking, resumé writing and work experience for eligible students.

During 2016–2017, over 6,500 people in WA were supported through the Participation – Equity program.


The Department is also supporting the WA Government's commitment to people of all ages and backgrounds to assist them to develop language, communication, literacy and numeracy skills. As part of this commitment, specialist foundation skills and equity courses are available and subsidised through Jobs and Skills WA.

Eligibility requirements for the Participation – Equity program

Please read the following information to find out whether you may be eligible for services under the Participation – Equity program, see the available courses that offer this support and what you need to do to get started. You can also contact your local Jobs and Skills Centre for advice about accessing these services.

Unemployed jobseekers, Newstart or Youth Allowance card holders

If you hold a Newstart or Youth Allowance card and are unemployed you may be eligible for support to help you access training. This may include:

  • mentoring and counselling;
  • assistance with language and literacy;
  • provision of meals;
  • assistance with transport and child care; and
  • help with resumé writing and job placement.

To access this support, contact the training provider listed for the course you’re interested in, or you can contact your local Job Active provider or talk to your local Jobs and Skills Centre about getting a referral.

View the list of courses available

People with disability

If you have a disability you may be eligible for support to help you access training. This may include:

  • mentoring and counselling;
  • assistance with language and literacy;
  • provision of meals;
  • assistance with transport and child care; and
  • special equipment or facilities.

To be eligible, you must have evidence from Centrelink for being in receipt of a disability support pension or sickness allowance, or have a referral from a participation referral agent for people with disability.

To access this support, contact the training provider listed for the course you’re interested in, check the list of referral agents provided below, or talk to your local Jobs and Skills Centre.

View the list of courses available

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people

If you are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island person, you may be eligible for support to help you access training. This may include:

  • mentoring and counselling;
  • assistance with language and literacy;
  • provision of meals; and
  • assistance with transport and child care.

To be eligible you must be an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island person, as recognised by:

  • descent, that is, the individual can prove that a parent is of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent;
  • self-identification, that is, the individual identifies as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander; or
  • community recognition, that is, the individual is accepted as such by the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander community in which he/she lives.

You may also be eligible if you have referral from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander service provider recognised by the Department. To access this support, contact the training provider listed for the course you’re interested in, or talk to your local Jobs and Skills Centre.

View the list of courses available

Culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) people

If you are from a CaLD background*, you may be eligible for support to help you access training. This may include:

  • mentoring and counselling;
  • assistance with language and literacy;
  • provision of meals;
  • assistance with transport and child care; and
  • assistance with translation and language.

To be eligible, you must be born overseas** and hold the following documentation that may include but is not limited to:

  • a humanitarian visa;
  • other documentation showing you originated from a country defined as CaLD such as a passport, travel documents or a birth certificate; or
  • a referral from a participation referral agent for CaLD people.

To access this support, contact the training provider listed for the course you’re interested in, check the list of referral agents below, or talk to your local Jobs and Skills Centre.

View the list of courses available

*Refers to groups and individuals who differ according to religion, race, language and ethnicity except those whose ancestry is Anglo-Saxon, Anglo-Celtic, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
**The CaLD definition excludes those born in the following countries; Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, South Africa, the United States and Wales.

Unemployed young people aged 15–24 years (Youth at Risk)

If you are aged 15 to 24 and are unemployed or under employed, you may be eligible for support to help you access training. This may include:

  • mentoring and counselling;
  • assistance with language and literacy;
  • assistance with meals; and
  • assistance with transport and child care.

To be eligible, you must be aged 15 to 24, and not engaged in education or full time employment or training. For school aged students, only those with an exemption or full time Notice of Arrangements are eligible.

To access this support, you must have a referral from one of the agents on the list below. You can talk to your local Jobs and Skills Centre for assistance.

View the list of courses available

Participation program referral agents

If you meet the eligibility requirements listed above for the Participation – Equity program, you may need a referral from an agent to assist you in finding a suitable training organisation.

View the list of referral agents

Your local Jobs and Skills Centre can also assist you with referral services.

Foundation skills and equity courses

The WA State Government is committed to supporting students of all ages and backgrounds to develop language, communication, literacy and numeracy skills that will help to build confidence and improve their ability to be successful in both study and employment. This support is provided through two key strategies:

  • foundation skills courses that focus on language, literacy and numeracy, and employability skills such as teamwork, problem solving, self-management, digital literacy and using technology – all key skills requirements for success in both training and the workplace; and
  • equity courses that support people with disability and people seeking courses that are aligned with their culture; for example, a qualification specialising in Indigenous Australian tourism.

Priority foundation skills courses

There are two fee-free priority foundation skills courses – the Course in Applied Vocational Study Skills and the Course in Underpinning Skills for Industry Qualifications.

These courses do not result in a separate qualification, rather they provide support to students who need additional assistance to successfully complete their vocational qualification and develop the skills needed for the workplace.

Course in Applied Vocational Study Skills (CAVSS)

CAVSS provides additional support to build literacy and numeracy skills as part of a vocational training program. Through CAVSS support, students revise and develop their mathematics, reading, writing and communication skills.  Students learn to make the connection between these skills, and where and how to apply them to vocational training and workplace situations.

Course in Underpinning Skills for Industry Qualifications (USIQ)

The USIQ course provides additional time and specialised teaching to groups of students who do not yet have the knowledge and skills needed to successfully complete their vocational qualification and participate effectively in the workplace. The course helps students to develop, consolidate and apply a range of social, communication, mathematical, technological, cultural and problem-solving skills.

Further information

Through Jobs and Skills WA, these courses are subsidised so that eligible students pay only a small fee. If you feel you may be eligible, please speak to your training provider for more information prior to enrolling in a vocational qualification, as not all providers are approved to deliver these courses.

You can find more information on foundation skills and equity courses, including a list of the courses that are available,  on our Training page

Your local Jobs and Skills Centre can also give you advice about these foundation skills courses.