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What is VET in Schools?

VET in Schools enables you to get real hands-on experience within a chosen industry, obtain a national qualification and increase your career prospects by combining your senior school studies with a Vocational Education and Training (VET) program.

VET in Schools encompasses a range of exciting programs which may be undertaken alongside, or as part of, the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE), Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL), or a School-based Apprenticeship/Traineeship.

What are the benefits?
VET in Schools is a unique opportunity for you to experience a career you may be considering, adds to the eligibility requirements for VCE/VCAL, and may contribute to your ATAR score.

As a result of the VET in Schools program, students find they are more ‘job-ready’, have achieved a recognised pathway to further education and training, and receive a nationally accredited qualification in a specific vocational area.

Most VET studies also provide pathways to, and credit towards higher level courses. Several provide credit into apprenticeships by reducing the amount of off-the-job training required and in some instances reduces the duration of an apprenticeship.

How does it work?
Most VET in Schools programs are run over two years (some over one year), which you undertake during years 11 and/or 12 (dependent on what year you start). If you follow the preCAL program, you can start a VET in year 10 (depending on place availability).

Programs are generally conducted every Monday or Wednesday afternoon/early evening during term from February to November. Some also require attendance during school holiday periods, particularly for the Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) component.

How do VET studies contribute to VCE and VCAL?
Every VET in Schools program provides a certain amount of credit towards your VCAL. It may contribute up to 13 of the 16 units required for satisfactory completion of the VCE, and many of the programs have a scored assessment which can be counted within your ‘primary four’ studies for calculation of your ATAR. Others may provide for one ATAR increment; calculated as ten per cent of the average scaled scores of the primary four – a 10 per cent bonus to your ATAR score!

VET in Schools also contributes to various levels of credit toward completion of VCAL in Industry Specific and Work Related Skills strands.

We recommend you speak with your VET Leader and careers about the combination of subject selections including any VET in Schools program and the credits it provides toward VCE or VCAL.

Structured Workplace Learning (SWL)

Real life training and experience is a beneficial part of VET in Schools and each program has either mandatory or recommended SWL, which varies between 10 – 20 days over the duration of the program.

SWL is most commonly arranged during term holidays for VCE students, and your secondary college will work in conjunction with workplace agencies to coordinate the SWL on your behalf.  VCAL students will normally complete SWL as part of their course structure during the school week.

Students are only eligible to undertake SWL after they have successfully completed all mandatory occupational health and safety requirements of their VET in Schools program.

Taster Programs
Taster programs have been designed to give students a real ‘taste’ for what they could be doing during and after their senior years at secondary school. Taster programs run over two weeks in August and are coordinated through each secondary school. Students can try out a wide range of disciplines.

How do I get the most out of VET in Schools?
Here are some tips from previous VET in Schools students:

* Be enthusiastic and motivated.
* You need to be organised and manage your time.
* Be willing to make sacrifices i.e. undertaking work placement during holiday times.
* Be flexible and open to new approaches – the training is different to what you will be used to, and our teachers are the same as those who teach apprentices.
* You will need pretty good communication skills.
* Be willing to make new friends – students in the program will come from many schools in Geelong, Werribee and Colac/Otway regions.
* Ensure you work out the balance of VCE/VCAL study, your VET in Schools program, work placement, part-time work and sport and social commitment.

Application and enrolment procedures

Application dates for VET courses are Monday 2nd August.
Please make sure the applications are submitted at this time as there can often be large waiting lists.

The Gordon applications are completed online, as per the instructions.  All other applications are done via the application form, which needs to be submitted to the VET Leader by Monday lunchtime.  Please note a USI number needs to be generated in preparation for all applications.

VET APPLICATION FORM (providers other than The Gordon)


* Some programs will require mandatory attendance of you and your parents at an information evening.
* Other programs apply eligibility and selection criteria such as interview, aptitude tests etc.
* A letter will be sent advising of a successful application and outlining the orientation / enrolment session details and any additional costs
* Late applications may be accepted for some programs, however will only be considered if vacancies exist or become available at a later date.

For more information contact Katie Wilson

Vocational Education and Training

The Basics

What is Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Vocational Education and Training involves students developing skills and competencies that are valued by employers. Students undertake a nationally accredited vocational qualification in a specified vocational area.

VET programs can be undertaken as part of the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE), the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) or as a School Based New Apprenticeship/Traineeship.

While studying in the senior years at school, a student can have the opportunity to obtain a broad based education with links to industry.

VET studies generally include a structured work placement, which is a valuable opportunity to reinforce classroom learning and provide on-the-job training and application of skills.

Most VET studies provide pathways to and credit towards higher level courses. Several provide credit into apprenticeships by reducing the amount of off-the-job training required and in some instances reducing the duration of the apprenticeship.

Where does VET program training occur?

  • At a secondary college
  • By a Registered Training Organisation such as The Gordon
  • In the workplace by on-the-job skill development.

How do VET programs contribute to VCE and VCAL?

May contribute up to 13 of the 16 units required for satisfactory completion of the VCE.  

What do you receive on completion?

  • A VCE or VCAL Certificate
  • A nationally recognised VET Certificate.
Students who do not fully complete the VET certificate will receive a Statement of Attainment for those units successfully completed

Contribution towards a student’s ATAR

Several programs have a scored assessment and may be included in the primary four for calculation of the ATAR, whilst some other programs may provide for one ATAR increment calculated as 10 per cent of the average of the scaled scores of the primary four VCE studies. VCAL Contribute credits toward completion of VCAL in Industry Specific and Work Related Skills Strands 

Note: It is important that you speak with the VET Coordinator from your secondary college who will confirm the specific credits you will receive from the program you are interested in doing.

Guaranteed pathways at The Gordon

From 2015, The Gordon has introduced guaranteed places from 14 VET in Schools programs into higher level pathway courses at The Gordon.

 So if you successfully complete an eligible VET in Schools course through The Gordon, you can be sure to gain a place in a pathway course – giving you more certainty and less stress when it comes to your study choices after secondary school.