Vocational education and training programs for Western Australian secondary school students

The Department works with the education sector, the School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA) and industry to support the delivery of quality vocational education and training programs to WA's secondary students.
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What is VETDSS?

Our vocational education and training delivered to secondary students (VETDSS) options offer students the opportunity to gain a nationally recognised VET qualification while still at school. VET qualifications:

  • develop your employability skills (for example; communication and problem solving skills);
  • give you industry specific skills, actual work experience and an understanding of the world of work; and
  • help you to explore and plan your career options.

If you do a VET qualification while you are a full time secondary student, this may also count towards your Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE).

What can I study?

There's a range of VET courses available for secondary students — from trades such as construction and hospitality through to non-trade areas such as business and information technology — and each school will have different qualifications to choose from.

If you would like to see what qualifications are recommended by industry for school students, take a look at the VET qualifications register for secondary students.

The list of courses eligible for funding through a Department-funded program for school students is in the VET delivered to secondary students funded list, available below.

In addition to a range of VET qualifications that you can complete whilst at school, there's also three specific VET programs for secondary students that are funded by the Department of Training and Workforce Development: 

  • the Aboriginal School-based Training program;
  • school-based apprenticeships and traineeships; and
  • pre-apprenticeships and traineeships in schools.

The program you choose will depend on your eligibility, and desired qualification.

Do I have to pay for my VET course at school?

Students are exempt from tuition, resource and enrolment fees if they are enrolled in school (full or part time). Please note that exemption is contingent upon:

  • if they do a course on the VETDSS funded list; and
  • If they get a funded place. 

However; there may be other costs. Some industries may require students to purchase uniforms, books, protective equipment, tools or other equipment. These items remain the student’s property.

Further information on fees is available in our VETDSS Funding policy document (below).

Who provides the training?

VET can be provided for schools by a registered training organisation (RTO) – either a WA TAFE college or a private training provider — an RTO school, or a school in partnership with an RTO.

The training may be delivered at your school, off site at a TAFE or private training provider's premises, or in a workplace. Some training will use a combination of these training options.

School-based apprenticeships and traineeships guide

View our SBAT guide

Further information

If you would like to know more about your options to do VET at school, and the VETDSS options available to you, please visit the Jobs and Skills WA website.

Jobs and Skills WA: For school students

Useful information about other training options and career planning and development for secondary students is also available on the Jobs and Skills WA website — information and support is also provided for parents and schools.

Jobs and Skills WA: What's your plan? Information for students, parents and schools


Year 9 Career Taster Program

The new Year 9 Career Taster Program (CTP) aims to inspire secondary school students to become 'career curious' about further study opportunities and potential careers. The program offers the following.

  • Industry-led experiences and activities that will introduce them to new and different areas of work and career opportunities
  • Career development training that will assist them in making informed decisions on their subject selections and post-school options

A range of activities and experiences are available for Year 9 students; showcasing industry areas and skills demonstrations in a practical, fun and engaging hands on way. The Career Taster Program is a great way to get a feel for different kinds of work and jobs, to help guide decision making around future training and career plans.

The program is fully subsidised by the Department of Training and Workforce Development and is free to students at eligible WA secondary schools. 

Find out more about the CTP


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