Vocational Pathways

Vocational Learning and Vocational Education and Training (VET), which include Australian School-based Apprenticeships, can be undertaken by secondary students.

Vocational learning

Vocational learning is delivered within the broader curriculum and includes access to experiential learning delivered in live or simulated work places and career education. Through vocational learning secondary students can explore the world of work, identify career options, and plan their senior secondary education and training and tertiary education options.

Vocational Education and Training

Vocational education and training (VET) enables students to acquire workplace skills through nationally recognised training described within an industry-developed training package or an accredited course. The achievement of a VET qualification signifies that a student has demonstrated competency against the skills and knowledge required to perform effectively in the workplace. VET delivered to secondary students is regulated by the VET sector, and is identical to VET offered in any other context.

While all governments have a shared role in national policy leadership for VET, state and territory governments and schools have responsibility for determining arrangements for delivery within their jurisdictions.

VET provides secondary students with a nationally recognised VET qualification or credit towards a nationally recognised qualification within the Australian Qualifications Framework. The training that students receive reflects specific industry competency standards and is delivered by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). A number of schools across Australia also operate as Registered Training Organisations or deliver VET in partnership with RTO’s.

Quality delivery of Vocational Education and Training, including for secondary students, is an important component of our national skills development and competitiveness.

Preparing Secondary Students for Work – a Framework for Vocational Learning and Vocational Education and Training

Preparing Secondary Students for Work – a framework for vocational learning and vocational education and training (VET) delivered to secondary students sets out a vision in which “All secondary students experience quality vocational learning and have access to quality VET courses; Both vocational learning and VET courses are seamlessly integrated into secondary schooling and valued by parents, students, teachers and employers”.

Preparing Secondary Students for Work, which was endorsed by all Education Ministers in December 2014 and developed collaboratively with schools, industry and the training sector, promotes VET as a first-class pathway for students.

The framework moves away from the term 'VET in Schools' and addresses the confusion that is often associated with it by creating a shared understanding that clearly distinguishes vocational learning from VET. Critically, it identifies that VET delivered to secondary students is the same as all other VET and the same standards apply.

For more information about the framework and to access supporting resources, visit the Preparing Secondary Students for Work website. The website contains a range of resources to support the framework including fact sheets to help schools better collaborate with employers, key elements to consider for great career education and an online VET self-assessment tool for schools to enable them to plan, implement and review their VET programmes.

You can also access a copy of the framework on the Preparing Secondary Students for Work myskills website.