Vocational Education

Intro to VET in Australia

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Lately, I have been working in the VET sector, and for those international people who read my blog, I thought I would write a quick overview to help de-mystify what VET is. Generally, in Australia, after people complete their compulsory schooling, their main choices for furthering their education are Vocational Education and Training (VET), University or Apprenticeships/Traineeships.

VET aims to provide people with the skills and knowledge to help them enter the workforce, train or re-train for a new job, upgrade their skills or move into further study.

VET offers a range of national qualifications, from Certificates that can be completed in a relatively short time (1 month to 6 months usually) through to Advanced Diplomas that generally require two years of study. Anyone over 15 years of age is allowed to do VET. Around half of all high-school leavers undertake vocational training within a year or two after leaving school. Even some high schools provide some vocational education and training as part of their offerings. Known as “VET in Schools”, this recognised training is available to all students as part of their senior secondary school education. This form of training offers students the chance to complete their secondary education, acquire work skills and gain a VET qualification.

In a nutshell, Certificates I and II provide students with basic vocational skills and knowledge, preparing them for employment such as factory hands or sales staff etc. Certificates III and IV have largely replaced the range of traditional trade certificates like plumbing, real estate, nursing etc. and prepare people for employment.

Apprenticeships and traineeships are a notable feature of Australia’s VET system. They bring together training and employment under a legal contract between the apprentices and trainees, training providers (such as TAFE) and employers.

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