VET is learning that works. Check out these stories of NMVC VET students and be inspired to follow in their footsteps.
“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.
“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.
“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.