VET is learning that works. Check out these stories of NMVC VET students and be inspired to follow in their footsteps.
“If you want a more hands on learning experience and are interested in building, then one hundred percent do a VET course.”
My home school is Parade College in Bundoora and I started the VET program in Year 10. I wanted to go down the building path and didn’t enjoy being stuck in a classroom all day five days a week.
I’ve always liked building as a kid and have worked in the construction industry during the school holidays since the age of 15. It’s great to look back at the end of the day and see what you have built, It’s very satisfying.
At Parade College I’m doing both VET Bricklaying and VET Carpentry as well as my VCE.
This is a challenge but I’ve managed to stay ahead through general organisation and forward planning along with making use of my study halls and class time. Having a good work ethic has helped me.
I chose to do two VET courses at once to widen my knowledge of the building industry and to have a better understanding of the other trades on site when I’m working. It helps when dealing with other trades people and understanding their needs.
It works quite well as you do 2-3 days of building a week and you’re learning double the content. It teaches you how the trades are connected.
The best part of it is learning the hands-on skills and completing the building projects. In a VET class you get to meet new people who are like-minded and share your interest in the construction industry.
In bricklaying we are learning how to build brick veneer, cavity walls, install lintels, block work and much more. Carpentry has taught me from how to build a sub floor, to framing a house and doing all the interior finishing and fixings.
Thinking about my future is very exciting as I am already getting to do what I want to do for a career and I enjoy my work. So far I have been able to find part-time work and gained experience through networking, family and connections.
My career aspirations are to complete an apprenticeship, become a builder and work for myself. Being a builder will give me some unique work opportunities. I’m looking forward to learning new techniques for high-end building.
“Push through the hard work and effort, take everything you learn into consideration and use it to your advantage!”
Hayley began her VET journey as a student at Peter Lalor Vocational College which resulted in the completion of three NMVC VET courses:
- Cert II Retail Cosmetics at Peter Lalor V.C. in 2018
- Cert III Beauty Services at Macleod College in 2019
- Cert II in Salon Assistant at Peter Lalor V.C. in 2020
“Starting Certificate II in Retail Cosmetics in Year 10 at Peter Lalor Vocational College gave me a huge head start in getting experience, knowledge and practice on the journey to my dream career as a Beauty Therapist.
I have always had a passion for beauty whether it was painting my nails, doing my makeup or putting on fake tan – there was never a moment I never enjoyed it. From a young age I knew that I had an interest in the industry and VET Retail Cosmetics was the best place to start for me.
When I started the course I expected it to be a
little bit different, I thought all of our classes would be putting on makeup or learning how to wax an eyebrow. In our practical classes, we learnt how to apply eyelash extensions, how to apply makeup to different face shapes and many more relevant skills related to the industry.
However, there was plenty of detailed theory that I still reflect on and use to my advantage. This course taught me a lot about working in a Beauty Salon.
There were many role plays on how to greet clients, what you need for every client and how to maintain a safe, therapeutic salon. It gave me an idea as to what it feels like to work in the industry and what to expect in reality.
Having students from different schools in one class was special. It was good getting to meet new people and sharing the same interests, hobbies and having everyone’s support. The best thing about it was making friendships, having weekly catch ups and building a bond over what we love doing!
I am now working full time in the Hair and Beauty industry in my own business. I loved the idea of offering different services so I have studied extra courses outside of school including teeth whitening and cosmetic brow tattooing.
My qualification in Retail Cosmetics has really
given me confidence in recommending and selling products. This has now led me on to the next part of my career journey; selling my own branded beauty products.
My advice for all students considering a VET course is to push through the hard work and effort, take everything you learn into consideration and use it to your advantage! We all need to start somewhere and it’s better to start younger so we get a head start!”
“The practical learning environment meant I was able to learn and take in information more readily.”
Mia Taranto, a student at Eltham College last year, completed VET Kitchen Operations in 2018 and VET Hospitality Front of House in 2019. She achieved Premier’s awards in both these courses as a VET student at the Swiper’s Gully Training Restaurant. This is a real restaurant, attached to Eltham College which provides a commercial hospitality environment for VET students in the NMVC.
Originally, Mia’s motivation for studying Kitchen Operations was to help her apply for part-time work. She quickly realised her love for working at a fast pace, being imaginative and communicating with customers. Once a week, VET students cooked for real customers, sometimes for large functions.
“We would produce a three course menu, following the instructions of our chef. The course provided a small theory component, but was mainly assessed through our practical performance during service.” After enjoying this so much she began VET Hospitality (Front of House) in 2019. This course focuses on bartending, waitering, kitchen coordinating and hosting.
Mia enjoyed being able to study in a team based environment with other like-minded students from NMVC schools in her VET courses. She found that they built real industry experience and practical skills that can be applied beyond Year 12. They also led to her part-time work as a manager at Macdonald’s where she can apply the teamwork skills she has learnt.
Mia believes that the two VET studies were the top contributors to her ATAR, purely because the practical learning environment meant she was able to learn and take in information more readily.
She is currently studying a double degree in Law and Commerce, while also still working part time at McDonald’s. While many of the hospitality skills she learnt during the VET course do not directly apply to her current degree, she finds a way to make use of them every day.
“I have many job opportunities waiting for me… which means I have many options open”
I’m a VCAL student at Hazel Glen College. Starting in Year 10, I completed two years of VET Electrotechnology and now I am completing both 1st and 2nd Year VET B & C Carpentry in one year – all at ONTTC (Outer Northern Trade Training Centre).
I originally chose to undertake VET Electrotechnology to broaden my knowledge and career options in an industry which interested me. I learnt how to wire light switches/power points, two-way switches, three-way switches, basic air conditioning systems, testing light switches and switch boards. I was able to learn and connect with
fellow VET students from various NMVC schools. This also helped me to develop strong and positive bonds with other students who were from diverse backgrounds and interested in the same trade.
Completing two years of Electrotechnology was amazing and has brought me so much more understanding of what the trade is like. It has also wiped time off my future apprenticeship. I have proved to myself that I am capable and that my gender is not an issue in this profession. Completing both 1st and 2nd Year Carpentry in one year is a challenge but I love both the theory and the ‘hands on’ work. I am able to rely on my VET teachers if I need any assistance.
I do Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) on a weekly basis which is awesome, and gives me on-site experience. I frame up walls, do the little things such as l-plates, truss grips, ceiling noggins, put in windows and fix up’s such as: doors, architraves and many more things. This has given me considerable knowledge and insight into the trade. My plans now are to start my Building and Construction apprenticeship, then after I have completed that I will go back and complete my Electrical apprenticeship. I have many job opportunities waiting for me in either industry which means I have many options open.
“There are so many different pathways within hospitality that could lead you to your dream job.”
I chose to complete the two year Certificate II in Kitchen Operations Course from 2018- 2019 at Peter Lalor Vocational College because I have always wanted to pursue a career in hospitality. I love cooking and baking, and I have wanted to become a chef for as long as I can remember.
With the VET course running one day a week and with work experience one day a week as well, I found it to be the perfect balance between the VET and VCAL classes. The Kitchen Operations course helped me explore my true passion for cooking and baking and begin my career in this field.
Having other students from different NMVC schools in the VET class was a good opportunity to work in a team environment with new people. It is a good way to develop interpersonal skills and to prepare yourself to meet new people in the workplace.
While completing the course I learned skills and techniques which have helped me as I have continued on with further education and in the workplace. Certificate II in Kitchen Operations has a good balance of theory and practical classes where students can practice all the skills and techniques that are studied. The course is an exceptional starting point for a future career in hospitality and exceeded my expectations.
Upon completion of this VET course I have since completed a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery and a Certificate III in Patisserie and have learnt further skills that have helped me pursue both careers in cooking and baking. I have been working in Industry for a year now, as a full time and part time chef and I am loving every second of it. With head chefs as my mentors I am learning new things everyday.
In the future, I am planning on starting a business selling personalised cookies and cupcakes, as well as novelty cakes. Longer term- I hope to be selling these from my own bakery or café!
My advice I would give to anyone thinking about partaking in this VET course would be, if you are interested in cooking why not give this a go. It is a great course to learn the foundational skills of an ever evolving industry. There are so many different pathways within hospitality that could lead you to your dream job.
“Give VET a go because it’s a great way to get in to the industry you desire.”
Employers in the automotive industry around the world are experiencing critical shortages of skilled workers. At the same time, they often wish to assist young people to appreciate the career opportunities offered in these skill shortage areas. ONTTC (Outer Northern Trade Training Centre) has teamed up with various industry partners to create the TEC Program (Technical Education for Communities). Cummins Inc., which is the world’s largest independent diesel engine manufacturer, leads the program with other industry partners: the Bayford Group, Komatsu, Westar Trucks and PACCAR. They have invested resources to assist ONTTC automotive students by supplying engines, staff training and dedicated engine service tooling. This group partnership supports the students in many ways during the program and with employment opportunities afterwards. The relationship with Cummins in particular also provides real-world work experience in industry placements and access to good jobs within the Automotive, Engineering and Mining sectors.
Aaron Hart was a VCAL student at Diamond Valley College who completed the two-year Certificate II in Automotive Vocational Preparation at ONTTC in 2019.
He decided to do VET Automotive because he always had an interest in cars and 4WDs and wanted to further his knowledge and enhance his future opportunities. He enjoyed the experience of learning with students from other schools and found that they all became a ‘good bunch of mates’. Not only was his VET day a ‘great break from school’ but it was learning of a more practical kind that suited him. There was also plenty of variety in activities.
Aaron gained a great understanding of basic vehicle systems and tool usage in his VET course. Because he was enjoying it so much he worked hard, was always focused and was rewarded by receiving the VET student of the year award in 2019 at ONTTC. He subsequently was fortunate to secure an apprenticeship at Cummins, where he works to rebuild, service and maintain engines. He is now enrolled in a Cert III Heavy Diesel Technician course at Kangan Institute in Docklands.
“I have definitely had to become extremely organised with planning my life, ensuring that I maintain a good balance between part time work and my VCE studies.”
I am a Viewbank College VCE Year 11 student and in my second year of VET Early Childhood Education and Care delivered at the Host School, Charles La Trobe College. I started VET in year 10 as I wanted to complete the two year VET qualification before I started Year 12. This would enable me to really focus on my VCE Studies at my home school. I also loved how it was different to my other year 10 subjects. I was able to get practical and ‘hands on’ with the learning.
I have always had a passion for education. Working with children in VET Early Childhood Education and Care sounded like the perfect opportunity for me to explore the field of education and gain a deeper understanding about children and the way that they learn. I have absolutely loved my VET experience as it was nothing like any of my other VCE subjects. I love the way we are treated like adults. Everyone in the class is really engaged and wants to be there as we are passionate individuals who are interested in entering the Early Childhood Industry.
After completing my first block of Placement (SWL) I was fortunate to be offered a job in the Child Care Centre. Since then I have worked there regularly for a year now on a part-time basis, making it work with my VCE timetabling. I have learned so much as a teacher and have found it really rewarding as it is so different from the ‘typical’ VCE. I am also currently doing VCE Units 3&4 Dance as well as doing a professional development course for Early Childhood Teaching to become accredited as a Qualified Auslan Teacher (Birth-6years) through the Victorian Government’s new teaching initiative. I am currently planning to study a Bachelor Of Education (K-12) with the ability to teach in Early Childhood, Primary Education and Secondary Education, specialising in the areas of Food Technology and Dance. It is my dream to teach in any sector of education and to make a meaningful impact on all of my students!
Early Childhood Education is such an important part of a person’s development and is integral in shaping and forming a person in the first six years of their life. I definitely see myself in this sector of education for the next 5-10 years but am still passionate in wanting to pursue teaching in other sectors of education.
“The best way to find out what you want is to try things and a VET course is a great way to find out.”
Cert III in Musical Instrument Making and Maintenance is a qualification which provides students with the skills and knowledge to design, make and maintain quality musical instruments. In Australia, the only school to provide students access to this course is the Northern College of Arts & Technology (NCAT) in Preston.Jarman Lawrence was a Charles La Trobe College student who completed this course in 2019. He had played guitar for a long time and his curiosity led him to consider this course. He decided that if he could make his own guitars it would be cheaper and he would no longer have to pay someone else to do the maintenance. His family encouraged him and he realised that he could make a career of it.
“My desire to do something fulfilling with my life really crystallised once I started the course. After completing Year 12, I am now doing Cert IV in this course at NCAT which gives a more substantial foundation of the craft. I am also working part time at Maton, one of the two large guitar making factories in Melbourne, Jarman said.
“Making guitars satisfies me both physically and mentally. The design element of the course is fascinating. When you set up a guitar it needs to be done in playing situ because gravity impacts the strings. I hadn’t even thought about how the most basic force of nature impacts this box with strings.”
Jarman said that being in a VET class with students from other schools is great.
“You get to know each other pretty quickly and become good friends. There is always something to talk about. I would definitely recommend this course to other students. If you want to work with your hands but be mentally challenged as well – this course is for you.”
“The best way to find out what you want is to try things and a VET course is a great way to find out.”
“Have fun with the work you are engaged in.”
Ally has always loved drawing; creating stories through the characters she designs. This passion led her to begin Certificate II in Visual Arts at NCAT in Year 10. This was a transformative experience for her as she was able to experiment with different materials such as watercolour, acrylic paints and collage in creating her art. She was inspired by workshops with former students and practising artists, giving her insight into new techniques and other mediums and learning about their artistic journeys. Visual Arts helped to develop her artistic ability and to win a Darebin Recycling Design competition. She also found success as a finalist in the ACMI animated short film competition. These experiences helped her to realise which pathway she wanted to follow.
Subsequently, after one year, Ally switched to complete the two-year Certificate III in Screen & Media, Creative and Digital stream at NCAT. In this course, she learnt about program basics, coding, website design, video game design and animation – those areas which catered to her main artistic interests.
At present, Ally is enrolled in the Post Year 12 Folio Preparation Course Certificate IV in Design at NCAT, with a focus on character design and animation. It gives her the opportunity to create a strong portfolio in preparation for university and to cultivate artistic expression in the stimulating vibrant atmosphere and community NCAT offers.
NCAT has a Direct Pathways Partnership with Swinburne University of Technology for graduates of their renowned Folio Preparation Program. Upon completion of this course, Ally will be able to choose from a range of design courses at Swinburne or other universities. Her future plans are to either enter the film and television Industry as an animator or the video games industry as a concept artist/character designer.
Ally’s advice to other students is to have fun with the work you are engaged in and to challenge yourself when you can.
INSPIRING STORIES AND OTHER ADVICE FOR VET STUDENTS
VCE VET like a boss: Kiralee’s hair and beauty career – A VCE VET course in Hair and Beauty was the beginning of Kiralee’s journey towards owning and running her own business.
Achieving is believing – Starting VCE and VET can be an intimidating prospect, but there’s no need to be daunted. It opens up many career pathways for students, and provides the skills needed for their future.
Students answer your VET questions – Students from across Victoria sat down to answer all the burning questions about what it’s like to include a vocational education and training (VET) program in the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL).
Kate harvests the seeds of success through VET and a Victorian Training Award – Victorian Training Award winner Kate Cross always knew she wanted to be a farmer. She began studying to achieve her goal as soon as she could through a VET course.