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Pathways — Your guide to vocational education and training (VET)

Pathways — Your guide to vocational education and training (VET)

VET courses focus on teaching basic literacy and numeracy skills, vocational skills for particular occupations and semi-professional (known as ‘paraprofessional’) training for lower-level roles in certain fields. They are available in a wide range of study areas, from accounting, business and design to engineering, health services and science. VET differs from higher education study because of its practical focus, shorter completion time and lower qualification levels.

If you are still at school, VET in Schools programs are great opportunities to commence study. They allow you to combine a vocational pathway with your schooling and work towards a qualification. Qualifications in the vocational education and training (VET) sector include certificates I to IV, diplomas, advanced diplomas, vocational graduate certificates and vocational graduate diplomas.

These courses provide graduates with the skills to:

  • join the workforce for the first time
  • re-enter the workforce after a break
  • upgrade their skills in a chosen field
  • change career paths
  • enter higher education.


How will I study?


Training for VET can be completed ‘on-the-job’ or ‘off-the-job’.

On-the-job training occurs in the workplace as part of your work. An assessor will visit you regularly to check that you are meeting competencies. Off-the-job training occurs away from the workplace, sometimes outside of working hours. It may take place at a TAFE institute, school or private training centre.

Where can I study?


Technical and further education (TAFE) institutes are the main provider of VET, along with private registered training organisations (RTOs). Some universities offer VET, including a number of dual sector providers.

What are the entry requirements?


VET courses are typically very accessible, particularly at lower levels. In higher-level courses, including certificate IV, diploma and advanced diploma programs, completion of Year 10 or 12 is required. You can study most VET courses full-time or part-time.

Some programs are available through online and distance education. Additional requirements range from subject prerequisites, work experience and tests, to interviews or auditions. Check with education providers for details.

Useful links:

Find a TAFE institute and get started


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