Funding guarantee for vocational studies program

Funding for the Educational Pathways Program will be continued for another two years.

The NSW Government logo overlaying a photo of an empty classroom. The NSW Government logo overlaying a photo of an empty classroom.

The NSW Government is expanding a successful educational program that raises student engagement at schools across the state through increased access to vocational education opportunities.

Funding for the Educational Pathways Program (EPP), now operating in 148 public high schools in nine regions, will be continued for another two years and expanded to an additional 20 schools across the state.

The EPP is an innovative program designed to improve education and career outcomes by introducing public high school students to a range of vocational training and employment pathways.

It supports existing careers activities at schools by providing extra resources including two key roles: Head Teachers Careers and School-Based Apprenticeships (SBAT) and Traineeship Engagement Officers.

As part of the program, schools match students with local employers and offer support while they explore their pathways through school-based apprenticeships or traineeships.

Over the past 12 months the EPP has seen:

  • 1771 students undertake school-based apprenticeships or traineeships (SBAT), a 129 per cent increase from February to October 2023
  • More than 1000 students re-engage in their education through support and mentoring initiatives
  • More than 7800 students participate in 'test and try' vocational courses with TAFE NSW
  • 1079 students secure nationally recognised pre-apprenticeship or pre-traineeship credentials.

One school participating in the program is Granville South Creative and Performing Arts High School, which focuses on career opportunities for students in the trades and aged care sector, both areas of skilled shortages across the state.

The locations of the 20 additional schools are:

  • Batemans Bay High School
  • Bega High School
  • Bourke High School
  • Bowraville Central School
  • Brewarrina Central School
  • Broken Hill High School
  • Chatham High School
  • Coomealla High School
  • Coonamble High School
  • Gilgandra High School
  • Kempsey High School
  • Macksville High School
  • Melville High School
  • Menindee Central School
  • Moruya High School
  • Narooma High School
  • Nyngan High School
  • Taree High School
  • Wilcannia Central School
  • Willyama High School

Deputy Premier and Minister for Education and Early Learning Prue Car said:

"The NSW Government remains committed to empowering students with the skills and knowledge essential for successful futures.

“The expansion of the Educational Pathways Program is a fitting example of this commitment, ensuring that more school students have access to high-quality vocational education and training.”

NSW Minister for Skills, TAFE and Tertiary Education, Steve Whan, said:

“We know four out of every 10 new jobs created in the next decade will need vocational qualifications.

“Last year, through the EPP more than 1000 students completed pre-apprenticeship or pre-traineeship training, earning nationally recognised VET credentials.

“The EPP plays a key role in removing barriers so our public high school students remain engaged with their education and have a head start in embracing the lifetime of opportunities.

“I am particularly pleased that we are expanding this program to more regional, rural and remote schools. Supporting schools outside the metropolitan areas is a key focus and I am thrilled to be able to better support regional schools with this important program”.

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