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What is Vocational Education and Training? — Key Features, Definition, and More!

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What is Vocational Education and Training? — Key Features, Definition, and More!


The VET Sector in Australia


Vocational Education and Training (VET) is the gateway for anyone who wishes to gain qualifications for all sorts of employment and career opportunities in Australia.

It is designed to deliver workplace-specific skills and knowledge and to help people to:

▪ Join the workforce for the first time

▪ Re-join the workforce after a break

▪ Upgrade existing skills/qualifications in chosen fields

▪ Move on into a new career

The VET sector is an important part of the Australian economy — both for the growth of the nation’s workforce and as a major export industry.

Read on and learn more about VET!


I. What Kind of Organisations Offer VET?

Hand drawing "Vocational education" on green chalkboard


Vocational Education and Training courses are primarily delivered by Registered Training Organisations or RTOs. Other organisations include Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutions, educational institutes, and private colleges. Some universities also offer VET courses, in addition to higher education courses.

Each Australian State or Territory registers these organisations for the following reasons:

▪ To provide quality training

▪ Provide courses developed with latest industry standards

▪ Issue a nationally recognised qualification for qualified individuals

For a list of RTOs in Australia, you may check out the My Skills website here.


II. Vocational Education and Training Courses and Qualifications

Group of students raising hands in class on lecture


Vocational Education and Training offers the following types of qualifications:

▪ Certificate I – IV: These courses provide introductory and entry-level skills and training. These qualifications will teach industry-specific knowledge and skills in communication, literacy and numeracy, and teamwork. They vary in course duration — ranging from six (6) months to two (2) years.

▪ Diploma: Diploma-level qualifications prepare individuals for industry, enterprise, and paraprofessional careers. Diplomas typically take one (1) to two (2) years of full-time study.

▪ Advanced Diploma: This type of qualification provides a higher level of practical skills. It’s suited for advanced professional work in areas such as accounting, building design and engineering. Students may complete some Advanced Diploma courses at university level, to complement their degrees. Advanced Diplomas vary in length — from one and a half (1.5) to two (2) years of full-time study.

▪ Vocational Graduate Certificate/Diploma: The vocational graduate and diploma are the equivalent of the higher education graduate certificate and diploma. This qualification provides high-level, employment-related skills and knowledge. The graduate certificate usually requires six (6) months to a year of full-time study, while the graduate diploma usually requires one (1) to two (2) years of full-time study.

▪ English Language Courses: VET providers may also offer English language courses. Course duration ranges from four (4) to eight (8) weeks.


Looking at taking VET courses? Click here to check out Inspire Education’s wide range of nationally recognised courses and qualifications!

Also, if you’re specifically interested in becoming a Vocational Education Trainer, then the Certificate IV in Training Assessment is what you need! Click here to learn more about the course.


III. What’s the Difference between VET Courses and Higher Education Courses?

Young Man Doubting. Business Concept Illustration.


VET courses are known to focus more on providing practical and work-oriented skills. On the other hand, higher education courses are better known to focus on providing theory-based knowledge.

Despite their difference, however, VET courses at the Cert IV, Diploma, and Advanced Diploma level can provide students with a pathway into the higher education sector and may also provide credit towards select higher education courses.

For example, students who graduate with a diploma may receive up to two (2) or three (3) semesters of credit towards a related bachelor’s degree. The exact amount of credit will depend on the training provider/institution, the degree, and the VET qualification completed.

It is also becoming increasingly common for higher education graduates to complete VET qualifications in order to gain practical, work-oriented skills to assist them in entering the workforce.


III. VET Entry Requirements

Stop sign - no entry


Entry into the VET system usually requires students to have reached a certain level of study, which is equivalent to the Australian Year 10, 11, or 12. Some qualifications may have prerequisite subjects or work experience requirements.

Entry into select courses, such as art and design, may require students to submit a portfolio.

It is the student’s responsibility to check with providers for any additional entry requirements, English language requirements, information on fees and charges, and course starting dates.


IV. Summary

▪ Vocational Education and Training opens heaps of career opportunities in various industries for qualified individuals.

▪ VET courses are primarily offered by RTOs.

▪ Take the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment if you wish to become a qualified Vocational Education Trainer and help others achieve their career goals.

Did you find the blog informative? We’ve got more content for you! Click here and check out blogs about our courses, how-to-guides, industry news, and more!


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