Understanding VET in Victoria

Students in workshop


What is VET and who is it for?

Vocational Education and Training (VET) programs come from the VET sector, where they are taught by TAFE institutes and other Registered Training Organisations (RTOs). Some schools are now also RTOs and offer VET programs in areas such as agriculture, business, engineering and hospitality. An up-to-date list of VCE VET programs is available from the VCAA website.

The number of schools offering VET programs has increased in recent years, and most schools now offer some VET options to senior secondary students. All nationally recognised VET training counts towards a VET qualification as well as the VCE or VCAL. It allows students to mix general and vocational education and to make a start on training for a career before they leave school. The training teaches skills and knowledge needed in particular occupations and workplaces, and normally includes some workplace experience that puts these into practice.

As well as preparing students for the workforce, VET programs can lead to further study, either in the VET sector (where students can gain credit for their VET certificate) or university, since results from some VET programs can be included in the calculation of an ATAR score. Of course, it is also possible for students to leave school and complete VET qualifications either full time or in combination with employment.

What about apprenticeships?

An apprenticeship or traineeship is a combination of work and training that leads to a nationally recognised qualification. Students have the option of starting a part-time apprenticeship while still at school, which means they are both students and employees.

School-based apprentices divide their time between VCE or VCAL and the work and training components of their apprenticeship program. Overall, the range of apprenticeship opportunities has been enhanced and now takes in far more than the traditional trades. Apprenticeships are available in most industries and vary in length from one to four years.

When undertaken as part of the VCE or VCAL, school-based apprenticeships and traineeships work the same way as VET studies, leading to satisfactory completion of the certificate and sometimes contributing to an ATAR.

For further information, visit the Apprenticeship Network Providers website or contact them on 13 38 73.

 What are Technical Education Centres?

Technical Education Centres (TECs) are purpose-built facilities that deliver TAFE and secondary school programs on campus within selected TAFE institutes in Victoria. They cater to young people aged 16 to 19 who have left school or who wish to undertake training while completing a senior secondary certificate, generally taking on students from Years 11 and 12, although some TECs offer programs from Year 9 onwards. The types of programs offered vary at each TEC, but the centres also offer a range of pre-apprenticeships or school-based apprenticeships and traineeships in combination with VCAL studies.

TECs have good links with local industries and employment opportunities. The emphasis is on undertaking a training program within a specific industry, such as building and construction, child care, cookery, fashion or multimedia. The aim is to ensure that young people are given the opportunity to achieve the educational and vocational outcomes they are after — whether it’s an employment opportunity or a pathway into further education and training.

Victorian TECs are located at:

  • Chisholm Institute of TAFE — Berwick campus
  • Federation University Australia — SMB campus
  • GOTAFE — Wangaratta and Shepparton campuses
  • Melbourne Polytechnic — Heidelberg campus.


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