Why are VET courses popular?
VET courses are highly valued by students, parents and employers. They provide authentic, applied learning that is practical and work-based and helps students prepare for their transition to post-school work and further study.
Students choose VET courses for a wide range of reasons. Some may want to maximise their ATAR for university entrance; some may wish to gain a head start with their trade training while at school; and others wish to develop skills that are relevant to their personal interests.
What can I gain by doing a VET course?
- nationally recognised qualifications, at the level of Certificate I, Certificate II or Certificate III, within the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)
- credit towards Stage 5, the RoSA or the Higher School Certificate
- experience in the workplace. Work placement is a mandatory component of most VET courses, enabling students to apply their classroom learning and to further develop their skills in a workplace context
- industry-specific technical skills that lead directly to employment or further study
- employability skills in communication, teamwork, problem-solving, initiative and enterprise, planning and organising, self-management, learning and technology skills.
Do VET courses count for the HSC?
Yes. All VET courses have to be delivered by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) which can be a school, TAFE or private provider. VET courses delivered to secondary students have dual accreditation – they are nationally-recognised under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and accredited by the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW (BOSTES).
BOSTES has two categories of VET courses:
- Board Developed Courses (also called Industry Curriculum Frameworks). These contribute towards the HSC and have an optional HSC exam for those who do a 240 hour course. One course (2 Units) can be counted towards your ATAR.
- Board Endorsed Courses. These contribute towards the RoSA or HSC but do not have an external exam for ATAR purposes.
What VET courses are available?
Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Sydney offer a wide range of VET courses. You will need to check with your own school to see which courses are available. Click here to see which courses are on the Sydney Catholic Schools scope of registration.
Externally-delivered VET (EVET) courses
If you’re interested in a course that is not offered at your school, it’s also possible to do a VET course externally.
Sydney Catholic Schools trade training/skills centres offer some courses part-time so that students from other schools can join the classes – usually one afternoon per week. Click here for details of these externally-delivered VET courses.
In addition, you may also be able to undertake a course at TAFE (TVET) or with a private provider. Speak to your school’s Careers Adviser or VET Coordinator if you are interested.
All students attending EVET courses must first get the approval of their school.
Can I do VET if I want to go to uni?
Yes. Many students aiming for university undertake a VET course and can achieve excellent results in their VET course examination. The University Admission Centre (UAC) reports each year on the significant numbers of students who count their VET course exam result in the calculation of their ATAR.
What if I want to start a trade?
Many schools offer students the option to start a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship (SBAT).
Sydney Catholic Schools also has a network of trade training/skills centres with specialised programs, timetables and support services to help students get a head start with their trade or career. These are:
- Southern Cross Catholic Vocational College, Burwood
- Saint Yon Trade Training Centre, at LaSalle Catholic College Bankstown
- St Joseph Trades Skills Centre, at Good Samaritan Catholic College Hinchinbrook
- Ngalangiil Ngarandhii Trade Training Centre, at Champagnat Catholic College Pagewood
[Click here for more information on Sydney Catholic Schools trade training/skills centres.]
[Click here for more information on SBATs]
What about students with special education needs?
When making subject choices, students always need to choose courses that meet their needs, interests and abilities. Students with diverse learning needs often benefit from VET courses which offer a blend of theory and practical work. The “hands on” approach to learning and the opportunity to do work placements provide skills and experiences that help students to transition to work or study after school.
Can students in Years 9 and 10 do VET courses?
Yes. It is possible for students in Stage 5 (Years 9 and 10) to access VET courses through either of two curriculum pathways:
- Stage 5 Board Endorsed VET courses, or
- Early commencement of Stage 6 VET courses.
For students in Year 10, early commencement of Stage 6 VET enables students to get a head start with the HSC and can assist them to leave school with higher level qualifications. If you’re thinking about VET in Stage 5, it’s important to discuss this with your school to ensure you make the best choice for your studies. Options for Year 10 students can include:
- commence a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship
- if available, join a VET course offered at your school
- undertake an external course offered at one of our Trade Training/Skills Centres
- undertake an external course at a TAFE or Private College.