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  • Learning Pathways for Your Child

    As your child matures and progresses through secondary school, s/he will consider carefully what future options or pathways to explore, based on personal skills, preferences and career interests.

    Our secondary schools offer direct support and advice from specialist careers teachers about possible pathways for your child. These include:

    • the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE)
    • the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL)
    • Vocational Education and Training (VET) in the VCE
    • a School-based Apprenticeship.

    Combinations of these options are possible. They lead to further studies at universities or colleges of technical and further education (TAFE), to training, employment or a combination of these.

    For more information on these pathways contact your child’s school. Schools also provide pathways for students with additional learning needs.

    Career Advice and Planning

    Our schools provide a range of resources and guidance to support your child in making informed choices about the many options available after school. Career and course information is available through careers teachers and year level coordinators at schools. Schools also have materials to assist your child in learning about different careers, including career guides, university and TAFE directories and employment information. Much of this information is available online and is incorporated into curriculum and pastoral programs, especially in Years 9–12.

    For more information see www.myfuture.edu.auhttp://myuniversity.gov.au and www.youthcentral.vic.gov.au 

    VCE (Victorian Certificate of Education)

    The Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) is a qualification designed for students in Years 11 and 12 that is recognised around the world. It is a valuable pathway to university study, technical and further education (TAFE) and employment. It is also possible to do a vocational certificate (VCE VET) or School-based Apprenticeship or Traineeship within the VCE.

    Each school decides the VCE studies and VCE VET programs it will offer. Typically, Catholic schools offer a wide range of subjects and make every effort to tailor a VCE program to match student interests and career aspirations. All necessary information and advice is provided by the school.

    To help you and your child to plan for the VCE, and to find out more about how the VCE works, the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) has produced an excellent guide for parents, which is called Where to Now? 

    Learning pathways for your child Guide to the VCE, VCAL and Apprenticeships and Traineeships.

    VET (Vocational Education and Training) in the VCE

    In senior secondary years, your child can choose to complete a Vocational Education and Training (VET) in Schools program as part of his/her VCE or VCAL. VET in Schools programs provide students with pathways to university, further education and training (including TAFE) and the workplace. These programs include industry-specific training such as hospitality, agriculture, building and construction, multimedia and engineering. 

    VET in Schools programs undertaken as part of a VCE or VCAL allow students to include vocational studies within their senior secondary certificate. Students undertake nationally recognised training from either accredited state curriculum or national training packages which may contribute to satisfactory completion of their VCE or VCAL. 

    The VET qualification may provide students with access to further training at a TAFE institute or other training provider and will often improve their chances of getting work when they leave school. 

    If your child is interested in undertaking a VET certificate other than those available through VET in Schools programs or School-based Apprenticeships or Traineeships (for example training undertaken through a part-time apprenticeship or traineeship that is not integrated into their school timetable), she/he may still be able to count such training towards satisfactory completion of the VCE or VCAL. 

    VCAL (Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning)

    VCAL (Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning)

    The majority of Victorian Catholic secondary schools also offer the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL). The VCAL is ideal for Years 11 and 12 students who want a widely recognised senior secondary certificate that offers a more hands-on approach and practical work-related experience. While the VCE is used as a pathway to university, the VCAL is aimed at students who are more likely to go on to TAFE, an apprenticeship or the workplace after school. 

    The VCAL equips students with the practical skills that employers need, helps them develop their initiative and resilience, and gain experience in teamwork and leadership. Students who have completed the Vocational Education and Training (VET) in Schools units (including training from School-based Apprenticeships or Traineeships) as part of their VCAL certificate will have developed knowledge and skills from nationally recognised qualifications that employers will value.  

    The VCAL also gives students the literacy and numeracy skills that are important for work and life. Students will complete four compulsory strands: literacy and numeracy skills, work related skills, industry specific skills and personal development skills. The VCAL also has the flexibility to allow students to design a study program that suits their interests and learning needs.  

    The VCAL has three levels: Foundation, Intermediate and Senior. Upon successful completion of the program, the student receives a VCAL certificate, either for Foundation, Intermediate or Senior level, depending on which level they choose. Students also receive a Statement of Results listing all successfully completed VCE, VET in Schools and VCAL units, as well as a Statement of Attainment for VET in Schools or Further Education courses. 

    Structured Workplace Learning

    Your child can undertake Structured Workplace Learning to acquire skills and competencies in an industry setting as part of a nationally recognised VET program or as part of a VCAL learning program, or as part of the VCE study, Industry and Enterprise. Structured Workplace Learning is an important means of supporting and complementing the student’s learning program and developing their skills, with the opportunity to apply their knowledge in an industry setting. 

    School-based Apprenticeships or Traineeships

    School-based Apprenticeships or Traineeships

    In the past, many young people had to make the hard decision about whether to leave school and pursue an apprenticeship or traineeship, or to stay on and complete their secondary study. A School-based Apprenticeship or Traineeship enables students to have the best of both worlds. Your child can participate in paid employment (part-time) and undertake recognised, structured training while completing his/her final years of schooling.  

    Available to students as part of their VCE or VCAL, School-based Apprenticeships or Traineeships assist students in making a successful transition from school to post-school options. They provide multiple pathways to employment, on-the-job training, further education and training (including TAFE) and university. Local industries also benefit from School-based Apprenticeships or Traineeships, because they help to fill local skill shortages. 

    Training undertaken as part of a School-based Apprenticeship or Traineeship may provide credit towards satisfactory completion of the student’s senior secondary certificate (VCE or VCAL).  

    Student Destinations – On Track

    Student Destinations – On Track

    On Track is designed to ensure that government and non-government school students in Years 10–12 are on a pathway to further education, training or employment after leaving school. Students are followed up in the year after leaving school through a telephone survey to identify their post-school study and/or employment destinations.

    On Track adds to the information previously available to parents and the Victorian public by highlighting the diversity of pathways young people pursue after leaving secondary school.

    During the telephone survey, if your child is not studying or in full-time employment, he/she will be offered advice and assistance to access education and training options.

    Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC)

    At the end of schooling students who wish to go on to further study will undergo a selection process. This process is managed by the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC).