So you’ve decided that you want to undertake Vocational & Educational Training (VET). If you’re a bit confused as to how to start, this guide is for you. We’ll run through how to apply for a course, as well as what funding and financial assistance is available to help.
What is VET and how do I apply?
VET is a way of gaining specific skills and training you need to enter the workforce or continue on to higher education. VET includes:
- Courses at TAFE, or other Registered Training Providers (RTOs), from Certificate I through to Advanced Diplomas
- Apprenticeships and Traineeships
- Short non-accredited courses
The best part is that most of these qualifications will be recognised all throughout Australia. It doesn’t matter where you study, you can move to any state and your qualifications will be valid.
So how do you go about starting a course?
- Know the Career You Want
First, figure out what kind of career you would like. This could be in Arts & Entertainment, Construction & Trades, Business, Hospitality, Education, or many more. Once you know the field you want to work in, do some research about the careers available in that field.
If you’re not sure about what you would like to do, have browse through the information on your favourite industries on MySkills here. This will give you a general overview of the industry, as well as suggestions for occupations and careers.
- Find a Course
The next step is to find the specific course you want to study. You can use the MySkills website to search for a career, and it will bring up any related courses.
Take a look at the courses that come up and see which ones are most relevant to your chosen career. It would be best to choose a few qualifications (five or so to be on the safe side), as some courses may not be available near you, or the fees could be very different. It’s always good to have as many options as possible.
- Find a Provider
Next, you will need to find a place to undertake your studies. There are course providers all across Australia that offer many different courses.
The MySkills website can show you providers by state, and if you search for your course, it will also tell you which institutions offer that course.
There are plenty of public institutions to study at, such as TAFEs across Australia, but there are some private providers as well. Take a look at their websites to see what they offer. Some of them even hold Open Days and information sessions to help you decide whether they are right for you.
Also consider where their campuses are located, or if you can study your course online. There are many courses that can only be studied on campus, or as a mix of online and classroom learning.
- Assess Eligibility
Before you can enrol, you will need to make sure that you meet the eligibility requirements for your course. This varies depending on what you want to study and where, so make sure you read the requirements on the course provider’s website carefully before enrolling.
As a general rule of thumb, you will need these minimum requirements:
- Finished year 10 for foundation and certificate courses
- Finished year 12 for diploma and advanced diploma courses
You will also need to prepare some documents before you can apply, such as a transcript of your high school results, a transcript of any other study you may have done, and any proof of concession. This will help the course provider decide whether you are eligible for a discount on your fees.
- Obtain a USI
Course providers will require you to have a Unique Student Identifier (USI) before you can enrol. Getting one is easy and only takes a few steps.
Your USI stays with you for life and can be used to see a record of any training you’ve completed. It’s also completely free to create one.
Read more about USI’s, why they are useful, who needs ones, and how to get one here.
You are now ready to enrol in your course! Enrolling with a course provider is done with them directly, and the process will vary depending on where you are studying. Each course provider will guide you through the steps to enrol on their website.
- Fees & Funding
Once you’ve enrolled in your course, you will need to consider the fees. The course providers should have information on your course fees available on their website.
For most courses you will need to pay the fees up front. Some course providers offer payment plans for people who are struggling financially. You will need to contact the course provider directly and talk about whether a payment plan might be right for you.
If you think that TAFE or VET is the right option for you, keep your eyes open for our next blog about the funding options that might be available to you – coming soon.