VET courses are highly valued by students, parents and employers. They provide applied learning that is practical, work-based and assists students in preparation for their transition to work and/or 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 NSW Educational Standards Authority (NESA).
NESA 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.
Can I do VET if I'm planning to go to uni?
Yes. Many students aiming for university undertake a VET course for their HSC 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.
Most universities also provide alternative entry pathways. Many students who follow a trade or vocational pathway after school gain valuable skills and experience that provide a practical foundation when they then go on to further study at university.
What VET courses are available?
Catholic schools in the Diocese of Wollongong offer a wide range of VET courses. Go to What Can I Study? to see which courses may be offered at your school.
What is Externally Delivered VET (EVET)?
If you’re interested in a course that is not run at your school, it may be possible to do an Externally-delivered VET (EVET) course at a TAFE or Private Provider. If you are interested in a course at TAFE or with a private provider your school’s Careers Adviser or VET Coordinator will let you know what courses are available and how to apply.
All students attending externally-delivered VET courses must first get the approval of their school.
What if I want to start a trade as well as get the HSC?
Our schools offer students the option to start a school-based apprenticeship of traineeship (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.