Kick start your future
Studying a vocational education and training (VET) course for the HSC develops the skills employers want in a prospective employee.
During a work placement students learn first-hand about the industry and get a foot in the door with potential employers. More than any other HSC subject, VET courses provide direct pathways to employment and further study.
What skills do employers want?
VET courses develop transferable employment related skills that can be used in every industry and will empower young people throughout their working lives, even as workplaces change.
Transferable employment skills
What do careers in hospitality, mining, retail, manufacturing, building, printing and graphic design have in common? Employers in all these industries are looking for similar basic skills in young workers including:
- ability to learn
- personal presentation
- knack for problem solving
- self management
- working well in a team
- good with computers and technology
- time management
Developed for young people aged 13 to 19, this collection of “What employers want” videos includes interviews with NSW employers about the skills they value in their employees.
Work placement is a key feature of most VET courses. Students are required to complete a set number of work placement hours to successfully complete their course.
During a work placement, students use knowledge and skills gained in the classroom in a real work setting. This develops attitudes and behaviours appropriate for the industry while the participants progress towards achieving industry competencies. Additionally, it is often used by employers to identify students they would like to employ.
Students studying VET courses should talk to their teacher about organising a work placement.
Government school students can now collect and submit work placement evidence to their teacher using the My Workplace Evidence app.
School based apprenticeships and traineeships
School based apprenticeship or traineeships combine school, training and paid work to give students:
- an industry recognised national qualification
- experience in the career they want and
- credit towards the HSC.
Students can begin an apprenticeship or complete a traineeship in Year 10, 11 and 12 and some can contribute towards their ATAR.
More information can be found on the School based apprenticeships and traineeships website.
The WorldSkills Vocational Education and Training in Schools (VETiS) competition provides school students with an opportunity to demonstrate their skills in a competitive setting. Participating in the WorldSkills competition is a great experience and a valuable addition to your resume.
The competition runs on a two-yearly cycle with regional competitions held in the first year. Regional competition winners and placegetters are then considered for inclusion in the NSW team to compete at the national competition in the following year. 2017 is a regional competition year.
NSW continues to be the most successful state at the national competition having won the prestigious VET in Schools Shield more times than any other state or territory.
Competitors are provided with equipment and instructions for a project they are to complete over the course of one day. Their work is assessed by a judge and at the end of the competition participants receive a certificate and a score sheet which details how their performance rated in each different skill area.
- in Years 10 or 11 and
- the first year of a relevant HSC VET course
can compete in a regional WorldSkills VETiS competition.
Competition projects are aligned with popular HSC VET courses and are available in the following areas:
- Brick and block laying
- Business services
- Commercial cookery
- Food and beverage
- Information technology
- Metal and engineering
- Primary industries
- Retail and tourism.
Not all competitions are available in all areas. Check with your teacher if there is a local competition available in your skill area.
Students must be in the first year of their VET course to compete in regional competitions and applications should have teacher approval.
Teachers can get by convening competitions in their local area. Interested teachers should contact the zone coordinator for their region.
Employers are often involved as judges for regional competitions.
You can still participate in regional, national or international WorldSkills competitions if you have left school. Visit the WorldSkills Australia website for more details eligibility, competition rules and how to apply online.