Student Profiles


Carly’s Home/Host school: Northern College of the Arts & Technology

As a Year 12 student at NCAT, I’ve had the opportunity to dive into a comprehensive VET pathway as part of my VCE. From Electrotechnology and Engineering Studies to my current focus on Plumbing and Automotive, each course has broadened my horizons and equipped me with a versatile skill set.

My journey in trades was sparked by a childhood fascination with trains. Drawn to the idea of working for Metro trains and contributing to infrastructure projects, I embarked on my VET journey. During the Certificate II in Engineering in 2022, I became confident in the use of lathes, grinders, guillotines, cutting saws, welding and using a variety of hand tools and equipment. I learned the fundamentals of drawing and reading engineering diagrams, laying the groundwork for my future endeavours.

Wanting to expand my expertise, in 2023 I completed the Certificate II in Electrotechnology delving into topics like domestic lighting and motor control. To diversify my knowledge, I started the Certificate II in Plumbing in 2024, while simultaneously completing the Certificate II in Automotive Vocational Preparation. These choices were driven by a desire to explore different trades and equip myself with practical skills, including how to fix my car.

Doing SWL has given me great insights into how things work in the real world, backing up what I learn in class. These experiences have deepened my understanding of industry practices and made it easier to merge theoretical knowledge with practical skills.

I’m focused on securing an electrical apprenticeship and becoming an A Grade electrician. My goal is not only personal success but also, as a member of NCAT’s Young Women in the Trades and Technology group, to challenge gender stereotypes and advocate for young women to consider VET trades programs and promote inclusivity and equality in traditionally male-dominated fields.


Gabriel’s Home school: Mernda Central College Gabriel’s Host school: Peter Lalor Secondary College

As a Year 11 VCE VM student at Mernda Central College, I am currently enrolled in the Certificate II in Creative Industries at Peter Lalor Secondary College. I have a passion for photography and the arts, and I thought this course would allow me to express my creative side and challenge me in different areas of the arts.

I really enjoy the practical aspects of my course. The first half of the day we do some theory and computer work and after lunch we get to do the hands-on creative stuff which is my favourite part of the day. I also enjoy the group work and creating friendships with students from other schools.

During the course, I’ve used a lot of technology, including Apple Mac computers and Photoshop. This has improved my skills in graphic design and digital media. My VET course connects with my other school subjects like VCE VM Personal Development Skills and Industry and Enterprise. These subjects teach me important skills for a future career in the creative industries.

I have been lucky enough to undertake SWL with the Whittlesea Tech School which has helped me become more independent. During work placement I was given lots of different tasks to complete throughout the day. I got to learn more about graphic design and even create a logo for the school which is currently being used.

I believe in including everyone, so I encourage my classmates, no matter their skills, to check out VET. I think there’s a perfect VET course for everyone, and it’s great to have different learning experiences.

Peter Lalor Secondary College has been super supportive, with students and staff creating a friendly atmosphere.

Looking ahead, I hope to gain employment in the creative field, especially in photography.


Nikolas’ Home/Host school: Peter Lalor Secondary College

My name is Nicky and I graduated from Peter Lalor Secondary College in 2023 with a Year 12 VCE VM completion.

The VET course that I chose was the Certificate II in Kitchen Operations (now called Cookery) as I had a love of cooking. This then turned into a passion, when you see how happy the dishes you have created make other people feel it is truly rewarding. The best part of my VET course was the support and encouragement that the teachers at Peter Lalor Secondary College gave me to continue with the course and to also catch up on some of the units that I had missed in the first year. At times some of the cooking, especially the baking, was challenging, but my teacher took a lot of time with me, always encouraging me and showing me the correct way to complete the tasks and I was always able to complete the tasks within the required delivery timeframes.

I learnt so much from my VET teacher over the two years of the course, apart from the actual cooking I learnt knife skills, time management, multitasking, problem solving and numeracy tasks such as measurement, division and multiplication for increasing and decreasing recipes.

After completing my Year 12 and my VET Kitchen Operations course I was fortunate enough to be supported through the National Indigenous Culinary Institute to gain a first year apprenticeship with the Australian Venue Co. This career would not have been possible without my VET certificate or the support from the wonderful staff at Peter Lalor Secondary College.

I think that everyone should know that VET is an amazing opportunity to gain some background in a career that you think you might like to do while you are still at school. If you stick with it and gain your certificate nothing will stop you getting to where you want to be. If you choose not to follow that pathway you will still have learnt some skills that you will be able to use in your adult life.


Willeford’s Home/Host school: Sydney Road Community School

I’m Willeford, a Year 12 VCE VM student enrolled in my second year of Certificate III in Music (Composition and Creation) at Sydney Road Community School.

I was taking another music class back when I first enrolled, but it was more to do with playing instruments, and I was much more interested in making music digitally on my laptop – and that’s when my teacher recommended this course to me.

The best thing about the course is being able to connect with others – it’s nice to clock in, spend a couple of hours making tunes with some great people and then going home. It feels like everyone in the course has a common understanding about music and making art.

Although I don’t have future aspirations to be in the music industry, I still want to keep making music as a hobby, and the skills I’ve learnt in this course will definitely help towards me doing that.

During this course I’ve learnt how to use Ableton, something I never really considered doing before coming here since I’m still a resident FL Studio user at heart. Constructing a song in every class is doable but it takes a lot of concentration – you really need to be in the right headspace for it.

I can always vouch for the teachers at Sydney Road Community School, and I definitely recommend this course to anyone who digs electronic music or sampling – it’s made a big impact on my social life and it’s just a really nice, welcoming environment.

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.

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