If you’re currently a secondary school student, you have the opportunity to study a nationally recognised vocational education and training (VET) qualification while still at school.
VET programs can:
- develop your employability skills (for example; communication and problem solving skills);
- give you industry specific skills and an understanding of the world of work; and
- help you to explore and plan your career options.
If you do a VET qualification while you are a full time secondary student, this may also count towards your Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE).
What can I study?
There are a range of VET courses available for secondary students, and your school will have different qualifications to choose from. If you want to see what qualifications are recommended by industry for school students, take a look at the VET qualifications register for secondary students (2022 school year).
Who provides the training?
VET can be provided for schools by a registered training organisation (RTO) – either a TAFE college or a private training provider, an RTO school, or a school in partnership with an RTO. The training may be provided at your school, off-site at an RTO, or in a workplace. Some VET programs use a combination of these training options.
Programs funded by the Department of Training and Workforce Development
WA TAFE colleges are funded by the Department to deliver a number of fee-free places to secondary students, in industry supported VET qualifications that are aligned to the State's industry needs, to help students achieve their WACE. Courses that may be available are listed in the Department's VET for secondary students funding policy.
Please note that the options available for home-educated students are different. This fact sheet provides information about school-based apprenticeship and traineeship options for home-educated students.
There are three specific VET programs for secondary students that are funded by the Department of Training and Workforce Development. Information on these programs is available below.
The Aboriginal school-based training program (ASBT) is for Aboriginal students in years 10, 11 and 12. The ASBT program aims to help Aboriginal students gain the skills to keep studying after school or get a job.
(updated Oct 2020)
Pre-apprenticeships in schools (PAiS) are Certificate II qualifications that can lead to a related apprenticeship. In a PAiS program you will attend school, train at a registered training organisation (RTO) such as a TAFE college, and undertake a work placement.
- This Pre-apprenticeships in schools fact sheet for students contains useful information.
(Updated July 2021)
- View the list of pre-apprenticeships available in schools
(Updated September 2021)
School-based apprenticeships and traineeships (SBA or SBT) are paid employment-based training programs for full time school students who are generally 15 years of age and over. In an SBA or SBT you will be a full time student and a part time employee with the same employment and training conditions and responsibilities as other apprentices/trainees.
(updated February 2020)
A Guide to Western Australian school-based apprenticeships and traineeships has been developed to support schools, RTOs, employers, students, parents and other stakeholders operating in the apprenticeship and traineeship system.
The Guide provides detailed information on the key aspects involved in a school-based apprenticeship and traineeship (SBAT) arrangement as well as a range of examples of SBATs in practice. Its user-friendly format also provides links to fact sheets and other relevant information and websites.
The guide is located in the VET programs for secondary students, school based apprenticeships and traineeships section on the Department of Training and Workforce Development website.
Careers: What's your plan?
If you're currently at school, or getting ready to leave school, you have some big decisions ahead of you — not just about training, but also about your future job and career plans.
A career plan can help with those decisions — working out what you really want to do, and how you're going to do it. And career planning isn't as difficult as you may think — you don't need to have it all figured out right now, but having a plan will help you focus on taking the first steps.
To find out more about career planning, and to help you get a career plan together for yourself, we invite you to visit the School students: What's your plan page here on our website. There's also lots of useful information there about options for study and training and getting a job,
Skills Ready: Free training and more!
Ready to boost your skills, get job ready, and kickstart your career plan? How about a free training course — yes... free! Or a free skill set with workplace-focused training to get you job ready?
If you're a school leaver aged under 24 or a jobseeker, there's a whole load of free courses to choose from!
There's also 180 full qualifications with course fees at half price or even less — this training matches up with where the jobs are, and there's pre-apprenticeships on the list! And not only are course fees reduced, but if you're under 24 or a jobseeker they're capped at $400 for the year.
There's never been a better time to get into training and get skills ready!
Need more information?
Your school career advisor or VET coordinator can help you decide which option is best suited to you. You can also visit the School Curriculum and Standards Authority website if you would like to know more about how VET contributes to your WACE.
Your local Jobs and Skills Centre can offer advice and assistance about training courses to support your future career plans.