Almost 200 representatives of vocational education and training, group training organisations, registered training organisations, TAFE colleges and industry from across the state attended this year’s VET in Schools forum.
Aim of the day was to spread the word about the importance of vocational education and training [VET] in schools as an excellent career pathway.
The forum was told there are currently 52,000 students in public, Catholic and private schools undergoing vocational education and training this year.
Which means they are gaining the valuable skills needed to meet skills shortages in the workforce now and in the future.
VET in schools courses prepare students for apprenticeships and traineeships and they can even undertake a school based apprenticeship or traineeship.
“VET is about real skills for real careers,’’ Karen Andrews, the assistant minister for vocational education told the forum via video.
“The number of apprenticeships is growing, and we need to be better equipped to advise students on VET in schools options and what successes can follow,” Ms Andrews said.
There were many more expert guest speakers highlighting the value of VET – and how university is not the path for everyone.
He also spoke of the government’s latest initiative to waive fees for both apprenticeships and school based apprenticeships.
Enthusiastic and talented, past and present VET students spoke of their successes, the value of being paid while you train, the importance of being linked to industry and the likelihood of gaining employment.
Nicholas Capovilla, 2017 SBAT of the Year in Construction explained how a school based apprenticeship changed his life.
Disengaged from school, advice and support from his careers advisor gave him the opportunity he needed.
Adam Moore, corporate executive chef of Cerebos Hospitality Industry encouraged all VET educators to be that person to make a difference in their students’ lives – “help them identify their passion and guide them’’.
Feedback from the day was excellent.
Angela Cascarino, VET coordinator and entertainment teacher at John Therry Catholic High School said: “I believe we teach VET well, but do we align it to future careers?
“It’s been great to see all the diversity and pathway options and to network with like-minded people.
“We don’t get to do this enough in schools. It’s been great.”
Now in its second year the forum was hosted by the Australian College of Educators (ACE), the Teachers’ Guild of NSW and MWLP Linking Youth.