Learn skills you'll need in the workplace with Vocational Education and Training

Flexible learning options allow you to study units online or combine your study with work

You can learn just about anything and gain nationally recognised qualifications with Vocational Education and Training (VET)

VET providers, including TAFE and RTOs, operate across Australia and deliver highly transferable skills which can increase your employability.

The focus is on student success and practical training that is designed to prepare students for the workplace. Courses are developed in consultation with business and industry to ensure skills are relevant and in demand.

What's the difference between VET and University?

At University you learn theoretical knowledge and develop a broad understanding of topics. VET teaches you practical skills for a specific workplace.

For example, a Cert IV in Aged Care teaches all the skills you’d need to work in aged care (either in a client’s home or an aged care facility) and includes an element of work experience. You’ll graduate ready to work, with skills that are immediately useful to an employer.

After university many graduates undertake further training or internships to learn job-specific skills, so while their degree may take 3 or 4 years, it may actually be much longer than that before they are working effectively.

Most Australian universities will recognise your VET qualifications, and you can use them to gain credit towards further study. This will make it quicker for you to upskill in the future.

How do I apply?

Think you want to start a VET course? We’ve broken it all down for you here

Do you know what you want to study?

Each course will lead you in a different direction. If you already know what you want to study, then you need to find a course in that Study Area, which you can do on your local training provider’s website.

If you don’t know what you want to do that’s ok – spend some time reading about various study areas, check out our careers pages, and try an online Career Profiler, like this one from TAFE Queensland.

Read the rules

When you apply you agree to adhere to student guidelines and pay certain fees, so it’s a good idea to read all the paperwork thoroughly before you commit to anything. If there’s something you’re not sure about just pick up the phone and call the training provider for an explanation.

Once you’ve enrolled you can’t just decide to not pay the fees – if you do it could stop you from doing any other training – make sure you’ve done your research.

How are you going to pay for it?

There is LOTS of financial support available for students, and many courses are free (or almost free) for school leavers. But before you apply, you need to know what funding support you are eligible for and how to make sure you get it.

Read the fee details in the course handbook, and if in doubt just check with the training provider before you apply.

Apply Online

Once you’ve found the right course for you simply click on ‘Apply Now’ to start your journey.

Not ready to commit? Click ‘Enquire Now’ instead – someone will be in touch soon to walk you through your options and help you apply.

You may need forms or other documents through the process, but they will tell you what you need and how you need to submit it. Make sure you pay attention to any deadlines, or you may lose your spot.

Vocational Education & Training vs TAFE

‘Vocational Education’ means training that prepares you to work in a job – so it’s directly related to the work you’ll be doing once you graduate.

TAFE is just one part of the VET system – VET covers all vocational training in Australia.

While TAFEs are run by the government, there are also similar institutions run by private businesses. They’re called things like colleges, training providers, or course providers.

The main difference between TAFE and other providers is that TAFE is standardised and run by the government, whereas private providers have more freedom to offer additional services to students, although these usually come with an associated cost.

Which one is right for you?

That depends on your unique situation and study needs. Both TAFE and private providers offer courses online and on-campus, and both are quality controlled by the Australian Skills Quality Authority.

Government Funded places are now available for private providers, so you could be eligible for a government-subsidised course no matter which option you choose.

If you’d like to search for all available courses (not just the ones offered by your TAFE), check out TAFECourses.com.au

They’ve put together a comprehensive listing of all the courses, and you can search by study area and location.

Find a TAFE Institute near you

There are hundreds of TAFE Campuses in locations across Australia, plus online study options, so you’re bound to find a place to study

With more than 30 study areas and 1,800 courses, TAFE Victoria can help you to:

  • Find a pathway to your chosen career and the right qualification for your dream job
  • Improve your skills, knowledge and prospects of excelling in your job
  • Explore a new area and expand your interests
  • Discover a rich learning environment with small class sizes and supportive and easily-accessible teachers
  • Find the best flexible option – full-time or part-time study, face-to-face learning or online.
Find out more about:

Interested in FREE TAFE?

From 1 January 2019, Free TAFE for Priority Courses covers tuition fees for priority courses for students who are eligible for government-subsidised training.

Eligibility criteria apply. Free TAFE on selected courses only. Other fees and charges may apply. See eligibility.


TAFE NSW trains around half a million students each year at 130 locations around the state. Find them all here.

They offer a range of vocational courses including short courses and certificates to Diploma and Advanced Diploma level. TAFE NSW is also registered as a higher education provider and offers degree level programs across a range of vocations.

You can study full time or part time, online or in person, or a combination that suits your lifestyle.

Find out about pathways to TAFE:

Types of courses:

And, they’ve put together a huge amount of info for school students to help you prepare for TAFE.

There are lots of other VET options to choose from

As for VET, the NSW Government has put together a comprehensive resource that covers all your options. There are more than 460 approved Training Providers across NSW, and you can search for courses at all of them at the Smart & Skilled website.

The Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) is the ACT’s largest education and training provider, with more people studying at CIT than any other provider in the ACT. CIT’s students include school leavers, first-time employees, those seeking to change careers, or to enhance their existing career.

CIT offers over 700 courses, including bachelor degrees to local, national and international students to equip them to work effectively in business and industry or go onto further tertiary study.

CIT teachers have industry experience and will work with you in a flexible, supportive environment, including smaller class sizes, hands-on activities, great facilities and equipment. Students benefit from this expertise, support and personal attention.

CIT enjoys excellent working relationships with many international institutions and is host to international students from over 50 countries.

CIT can also tailor a workforce development solution specifically for an individual business, employer or industry.

See the Course Guide

Find Information Sessions, explore Short Courses andCIT Degrees and learn about CIT for Schools.

Have you heard of Skilled Capital?

Skilled Capital is an ACT Government funded program that provides services and subsidies for students. Find out if you’re eligible and find a training provider here.

TAFE Queensland offers an extensive range of education and training programs.

TAFE programs range from areas as diverse as arts and entertainment, tourism and hospitality, fashion, business and community services to automotive, engineering, science and technology and building and construction.

TAFE Queensland is the largest, most experienced provider of vocational education, training and adult learning in Queensland.

TAFE programs are highly focused to ensure you learn industry relevant skills to help get you into the workplace faster, upgrade existing skills, or prepare for further study.

One of TAFE’s major advantages is flexibility. Choose from a range of study options including full time, part time, on campus, online, in the workplace or by distance learning.

Here’s some info for Career starters and/or School students.

Other training options

The Queensland Skills Gateway has a huge amount of information, including a course search tool that’ll let you search every approved training provider in the state for courses, as well as community training projects that can help you upskill ready to start work.

Start exploring your options here.

TAFE SA represents a network of three independent institutes, two in metropolitan Adelaide: TAFE SA Adelaide North Institute & TAFE SA Adelaide South Institute, and one which covers regional South Australia: TAFE SA Regional.

These institutes are the leading and largest public providers of vocational education and training (VET) in South  Australia delivering courses to an average of 80,000 students per year across more than 48 sites state wide. TAFE SA institutes offer training across more than 80 activity and industry-related areas.


You could also try the SA Government's WorkReady Program

WorkReady offers a wide variety of vocational education and training courses.

Search for courses available from WorkReady Service Providers.

Contact a WorkReady Service Provider to confirm your eligibility if you find a course you are interested in studying. They can tell you about the training and conduct an assessment of your needs and suitability to undertake and successfully complete the course.

Find a training course here, or get help with your training while you’re still at school:

Training for school students

Learn skills to help you get a job through vocational education and training (VET) while you’re at school

Training guarantee for SACE students

The training guarantee for SACE students offers a guaranteed funded training place when you leave school

School-based apprenticeships and traineeships

How to start an Australian school based apprenticeship or traineeship while you’re in Year 10, 11 or 12

TAFE WA is now called Jobs & Skills WA, and they offer over over 3,000 publicly funded VET courses and qualifications.

In today’s competitive market, having the right skills and qualifications is important. Vocational education and training (VET) provides practical skills and knowledge aligned with the needs of industry and business, through nationally recognised qualifications.

As Western Australia’s economy grows and diversifies, the outlook for jobs is constantly changing. Jobs and Skills WA is the way the State Government prioritises its investment in training to focus on courses that equip people to take up jobs that are or will be in high demand, and in the services provided to support people to achieve successful training and employment outcomes.

Your local Jobs and Skills Centre is your one-stop-shop for information, advice and support about vocational education and training.

Find out more about:

Subsidised Training

A range of training options and courses are available and subsidised under Jobs and Skills WA. Priority training areas include apprenticeships, eligible traineeships, and priority industry qualifications. Many other important industry qualifications are also subsidised under Jobs and Skills WA, including pre-apprenticeships, general industry training courses, and foundation and equity courses.

View the list of apprenticeships 
View the list of eligible traineeships 
View the list of pre-apprenticeship courses for 2019
View the list of priority industry qualifications for 2019

And there are even more available here.

In the Northern Territory all VET qualifications are delivered by private institutions, including Charles Darwin University.

Here’s a list of your options:

Alana Kaye College
Alana Kaye College was founded in 2011 in the far north of Australia and offers nationally recognised qualifications in early childhood education and care to international students in the Northern Territory. The Darwin Campus is located very close to the City of Darwin and the City of Palmerston and is accessible by public transport with parking available close to the college campus.

The Australian Careers College (ACC) Darwin offers certificate and diploma courses for international students in the Northern Territory across business, management, accounting, aged care, home and community care and early childhood education and care.

BCA National, Darwin delivers nationally recognised qualifications in business and finance, and community services sector courses for international students. The Darwin campus is located in the lovely suburb of Parap, home to the Parap arts, crafts and food markets on Saturdays. The campus is fitted out with comfortable classrooms, student breakout areas, and is easily accessible from Darwin city’s Central Business District.

Carey Training delivers high quality vocational education and training courses including specialising in the civil and general construction and mining related vocations. They deliver pre-employment Certificate II level courses and also programs from Certificate III to Diploma for upskilling people. Carey Training are committed to the pursuit of excellence and provision of the highest quality vocational education and training experiences for all students.

Charles Darwin University (CDU) is a dual sector university with several campuses across the Northern Territory offering a wide range of courses including business, engineering and IT, health sciences, education, creative arts, and vocational education and training including hospitality and trades.

ih Business College (ihBC) delivers vocational education and training courses to prepare future professionals for a fast moving world. We are committed to providing quality training and internationally recognised qualifications, which gives our graduates a true advantage when seeking employment opportunities worldwide.

TasTAFE is the largest vocational education and training provider in Tasmania. With 11 campuses, we operate effectively throughout the State and offer more than 250 courses and qualifications.

TasTAFE has an ongoing commitment to meeting Tasmanian community expectations and the needs of all of our students. We recognise that studying can be challenging when you are an adult as you have to balance all of the other demands upon your time. We understand those challenges and strive to provide a range of flexible study options. We understand that learning should be enjoyable and rewarding, in fact we think that most of the time it should be fun!

We believe very strongly in our values and see our role as being to engage with, deliver to, create opportunities for and assist businesses, industry and employers and individuals to meet their varied training needs.

So please contact us – drop into your local campus, send us an email at info@tastafe.tas.edu.au or call us on 1300 655 307. We’re here to help you achieve your goals.

Student Information Guide 2019

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