The benefits of VET, according to a course coordinator

Apprenticeships and traineeships are key to Australia’s post COVID-19 recovery – helping millions of displaced workers upskill or reskill to find new employment opportunities. Image: Shutterstock

We asked a VET course coordinator from Australian College of Applied Psychology (ACAP), exactly what’s involved in a VET pathway

Thinking about doing the vocational education and training (VET) thing after high school? Kickstarting your career with a STEM apprenticeship or traineeship can lead to some pretty cool next-gen opportunities. This week (and always!) we’re celebrating alternative pathways into STEM careers, sussing the CVs of ex-apprentices and planning our own pathways.

In an effort to find out more about the long-term career benefits of non-uni study paths, we asked Australian College of Applied Psychology Diploma of Community Services (Case Management) course coordinator Betty Barakat your most-asked FAQs.

Betty Barakat is Course Coordinator for Diploma of Community Services (Case Management) at the Australian College of Applied Psychologists.

Why are alternative pathways so important?

“Pathways are important as they provide clear steps to employment and continued studies, while acknowledging existing vocational skills that provide career mobility and extend options for students.

“ACAP provides students who come back after a long break from education with greater support to assist them throughout their studies which then help them transition into higher education.”

What are the main benefits of going down the non-uni route?

“VET Training is practical and based on actual workplace requirements, giving students an advantage over applicants who may not have any way of credentialing their experience.

It can negate the need to undertake the HSC for some uni courses and there are various funding options too!”

Anything about VET pathways that might surprise us?

“Overall, ACAP found that VET prepares students transitioning into higher education and provides a better academic outcome than school leavers entering into a higher education program. The students tend to survive longer in the first 4 weeks and excel in academic performance!

“Oh, and there’s currently consideration to give ATAR credit for schools-based VET!”

If students are keen to look into alternative pathways how should they go about it?

“These days there are various mediums available that open a gateway to alternative pathways. I would suggest, if a person has an area of interest, you can talk to a subject matter expert – like a teacher or course coordinator – and then head to an open day which will be available on-campus or online (depending on the circumstance).

“Speaking with an expert about what course is available will help you to see whether these options align with your future goals and more importantly which VET pathway is right for you.”

Are companies hiring VET grads?

“Yes! According to an article written by Canberra Institute of Technology in 2018, 78% of VET graduates are employed after training. That’s 9% high than the employment rate for university graduates!”

How important is diversity in VET?

“Diversity is very important in VET! At ACAP our teachers have a critical role to be sensitive to cultural issues such as language and values. It’s vital that when developing course material that cultural consideration is applied.

“While women still make up a small percentage of skilled trade jobs in the country, today, with gender roles changing and trade industry opportunities for women increasing, we’re seeing more and more women considering careers in the trade industry.”


Cassie Steel

Author: Cassie Steel

As Refraction’s digital editor, Cassie Steel spends her days researching robots and stalking famous scientists on Twitter.


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