Vocational Education and Training (VET): Explained


A student is wearing a blue helmet and stands next to a construction site after studying a vocational education course (VET)  at TAFE.


Vocational Education and Training (VET), also known as Career and Technical Education (CTE) refers to skill-based education and training.


Educational Institutes like Technical and Further Education (TAFE), universities, private colleges and many other schools offer this training.


VET helps students to gain career-focused skills required in the current job market. Vocational Institutions offer various practical courses in different subjects like computing, tourism, business, marketing, and hospitality. If you are looking for in-depth information about VET, then this post is for you.



1. VET offers various skills to help people:


  • Join the workforce

  • Rejoin the workplace

  • Upgrade skills in a specific field

  • Move into a different career


Upon the completion of vocational training in Australia, students are usually given a diploma or a certificate. International students who complete a vocational education may search for a job or enrol in a university education program in Australia.



2. Different Qualifications and Courses


The VET sector provides different qualifications and these are:


  • Certificate I to IV (1 - 4): These types of courses are for improving initial training skills. They teach industry-specific skills and enhance knowledge in communication, numeracy, teamwork and communication. The length of these courses varies from six months to two years.


  • Diplomas: It requires one or two years of full-time study that prepare students for enterprise, industry, and professional careers. A diploma is usually used as a link to get entry into different university courses.


  • Advanced Diplomas: These diplomas are considered higher than a Diploma. It provides a high-level of practical skills in various fields like engineering, accounting, and building design. International students can complete some of these diploma courses at the university level. The length of the diplomas varies from 18 to 24 months (full-time).


  • Vocational Graduate Certificate and Diploma: These certificates and diplomas are equivalent to the higher education graduate diplomas. They offer high-level knowledge and training in a specific employment industry. The certification program needs 6 months to one year of the full study, while the graduate diploma requires around one or two years of full-time study.


  • English Language Courses: There are many English language courses offered by VET providers, which may range from 4 to 48 weeks in length.



3. What does VET Involve?


The VET courses and qualifications emphasise more on occupational skills rather than theory. It covers the following areas:


  • Australian traineeships and apprenticeships

  • Basic skills like literacy and numeracy training which involves foundation studies and pre-vocational training.

  • Vocational skills for specific areas such as automotive or floristry.

  • Semi-professional vocational training in fields like occupational safety and health or business advertising.


The VET courses require students to complete their study and assessments at their training institutions to demonstrate that they have obtained the required skill levels.



4. Difference Between VET and Higher Education Courses


  • The VET courses consist of diplomas, advanced diplomas, and certificates I to IV. These qualifications have a lower-level as compared to the ones offered by higher education sector that includes bachelor degrees, master degrees, doctoral degrees, and graduate certificates/diplomas.


  • VET qualifications aim to provide work-oriented and practical skills, whereas higher education courses focus more on achieving academic goals.


  • Grading and the assessment process are also different for VET and higher education courses. VET courses use competency-based assessment, whereas higher education courses use a grading approach for assessment.



5. Why Choose a VET Course?


  • It provides flexible and weekly attendance, ideal for the ones who want to work while they are studying.

  • You can pay for a VET course in instalments and on a long term basis.

  • Vocational courses are conveniently priced, more career-oriented, and can partially substitute a higher education pathway.

  • Institutes that provide VET courses mostly offer direct access to the work world.

  • A qualifying training course is sometimes mandatory and turns out to be an advantage to undertake specific jobs.



6. Why is VET Best for the Australian Jobs Market?


The VET sector training mostly focuses on the skills needed within the Australian job market. Australia’s VET system is advanced and positively engages with employers. It is well-placed and train students for different industries with high employment requirements. Also, it provides students with the ability to deal with local employment circumstances.



7. VET Course Fees


In general, VET course providers set their own fees which may range between AUD $4000 to $22,000 annually. Higher-level vocational courses and vocational graduate diplomas/certificates may have higher fees. Additional costs like access to institution facilities and course materials can be included.


Note: The VET course fees may vary depending on the chosen institution, location, and course.



8. Entry Requirements


International students who are looking to get entry into the VET system must reach a level of study equivalent to the Australian year 10, 11 and 12. Some courses might need work experience while others may have prerequisite subjects.


Entry into courses like art and design require portfolio submission. To know more about any additional entry requirements, information on fees, course starting dates, and English language requirements check with your individual providers.



9. How to Find VET Courses?


If you are searching for the VET programs and courses in Australia, then OzStudies has got you covered. OzStudies is the largest Student platform in Australia that helps students to apply for their desired courses and scholarships.  



Useful Topics to Explore:

⇒ Types of Education in Australia
⇒ Enligsh Language Courses Overview (ELICOS)
⇒ MBA and Management Education in Australia 
⇒ Technical and Further Education (TAFE)
⇒ Higher Education - Undergraduate Level
⇒ Higher Education - Postgraduate Level
⇒ Study Abroad & Student Exchange
⇒ Online & Distance Education
⇒ Foundation Courses
⇒ Secondary Education

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