Lifelong Learners – Exploring Vocational Education and Training at School

– Tuesday 27 July 2021 at 7PM

Studying a Vocational Education and Training course at school allows students to discover what it’s like to work in a particular industry and learn valuable knowledge and skills. Students who study a Vocational Education and Training qualification at school are more likely to:

  • succeed studying higher level Vocational Education and Training qualifications and
  • gain apprenticeships or other employment when they leave school.

Vocational Education and Training programs, including school based apprenticeships, traineeships and work placements, are a great way for students to experience work and undertake formal, on the job training as part of their HSC.

The session Exploring Vocational Education and Training at School will unpack three key Vocational Education and Training Programs available to high school students in NSW:

1. Vocational Education and Training at School – Heather White

VET brings industry to the classroom. Students in NSW secondary schools are able to access a variety of vocational education opportunities including school delivered VET, externally delivered VET and School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships. Focussing on school delivered VET, Heather will outline courses available, delivery formats and additional opportunities for students stemming from those courses.

2. Virtual VET Courses – Michael Clancy

These new courses released for 2022 combine teacher-led virtual classrooms with workshops and work placements across a range of exciting courses for growth industries. The aim is to connect secondary students across NSW with the skills they’ll need to fill the jobs of the future. Explore these new options and find out how students can enrol.

3. School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SBATs) – Rochelle Dowley

School-based apprenticeships and traineeships combine work, training and school as an integrated HSC pathway. SBATs are available to all Year 10, 11 and 12 high school students in and the pathway allows students to commence an apprenticeship or complete a traineeship while at school. Rochelle will outline the benefits of undertaking an SBAT, the options and outcomes for students.

Heather White

NSW Department of Education, VET Curriculum Advisor

After teaching in several Sydney high schools for over 20 years, Heather moved into the VET space in 2010, firstly as a Senior Pathways Officer with Public Schools NSW Ultimo RTO and currently as NSW VET Curriculum Advisor. She has been involved with WorldSkills for 8 years, currently as NSW State Manager for NSW WorldSkills VET in Schools.

On a more personal level Heather is passionate about volunteering, promoting and encouraging students to pursue volunteering opportunities as a means of developing their employability skills. She has been a member of the NSW Rural Fire Service for 33 years and is currently Senior Deputy Captain of her brigade.

Michael Clancy

NSW Department of Education, Relieving Leader Vocational Education

Early in Michael’s career he worked in a range of industries including, manufacturing, warehousing and landscaping whilst living in Sydney. By the mid-eighties Michael had left Sydney and moved to Wiradjuri country in the central tablelands to further his career in the education industry, initially as a teacher of science and agriculture in a small central school, and then as a careers adviser at a large regional high school. During this time Michael also operated a sheep breeding enterprise. Due to his experiences in industry, Michael developed an appreciation of a work-based learning culture and a deep understanding of the benefits of lifelong learning, and vocational education and training. He has continued on his learning journey through a mixture of accredited, unaccredited and incidental learning sharing his passion for vocational education and training at local, regional and state levels. At 62 years of age Michael says he is still on that learning journey.

Rochelle Dowley

NSW Department of Education, Manager School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships

Rochelle’s passion is supporting young peoples’ transition from school to work or further study. Rochelle has had many years’ experience working on state and national initiatives which strengthen students’ experience in a wide range of vocational and careers programs. Her current role is the Manager of School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships for the NSW Department of Education. The program is an incredible springboard for students to start their career in a broad range of trade and vocational pathways. The best part of the role is to connect with past school based apprentices and trainees and see how their career has progressed as a result of their SBAT. Prior to this position, Rochelle worked on the National Trade Cadetship initiative for ACARA and before that, the School to Work program for the NSW Department of Education.