Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses offer a range of subjects that help individuals gain valuable work-focussed qualifications. They also provide an opportunity for international students to study in Australia.

VET is perfect for school leavers, for those who want to upskill or change careers, or for students who wish to gain qualifications for university. In addition, VET provides English courses for international students and migrants to improve their language skills.

Whether you are an international or domestic student, each course’s aim is the same – to help you succeed! Read on to find out everything you need to know about VET courses.

What are the requirements?

Depending on which course you choose to study, there will be different entry requirements. For example, if you wish to study for a graduate diploma, then you will need a bachelor’s degree or relevant VET qualifications. You may also need work experience to enrol. Or, if you wish to undertake a certificate, then the educational and experience requirements are lower.

Do you have extensive experience in the workplace? Your expertise could gain you a place on a course even if you don’t have academic qualifications. For example, at CAC, you could enrol on the Graduate Diploma of Management (Learning) if you have five years of full-time experience in a relevant profession.   

Each Australian educational institution will also require a level of English language comprehension. If your English skills do not meet the requirements, no problem! Many colleges in Australia offer English courses to help you reach the required standard and enrol on your desired course.

At Central Australian College, we offer several English courses designed to help international and local students improve their language skills.

How much does it cost?

Again, this depends on which course you choose to study. Prices can vary dramatically from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. The price is typically determined by the level of study and the course duration.

As an example, the 11-week General English Level I course offered by CAC is $2,530 ($253 per week). But the 52-week Graduate Diploma of Strategic Leadership course is $14,650 plus a $350 application fee.

Don’t worry, course fees do not have to be paid up front! You can make your payments throughout the year in manageable instalments.

Overall, VET provides excellent value, especially for international students. For example, a diploma course could cost roughly $12,000 for a year of study, whereas an undergraduate degree could easily cost $40,000 per year ($120,000 total).

Who regulates VET?

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) regulates VET in Australia. However, some courses and training institutions are regulated by state-specific bodies: the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) in Victoria and the Training Accreditation Council (TAC) in Western Australia.

All VET regulators monitor Registered Training Organisations (RTO) to ensure they provide education that meets nationally recognised standards.

What’s the difference between VET and university education?

Aside from the cost, the major difference between VET and university education is the work focus and the nature of study. In general, VET is more hands-on than a university course.

VET courses teach practical skills that enable you to move into the workplace. Therefore, they are more focussed on practical exercises. Whether you’re learning automotive technology or marketing, you will be putting theory into practice and developing real-world skills.

How do I find colleges that provide courses for international students?

You can find all RTOs that are approved to provide courses to international students on the CRICOS register. CRICOS stands for the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students.

How do I apply?

To study in Australia, you will need to apply to an educational institution and apply for a student visa. You can apply for both of these yourself or you can enlist the help of a student and migrant agency.

Applying yourself is a great option if you know exactly where you want to study and don’t need any help with the visa application process. If, however, you need a bit of help and advice, an agency could save you a lot of time and effort. You do have to pay for this though, so remember to factor in the extra cost.

If you choose to use a migrant agent, make sure you select your agency well. Speak to a few agents to get an idea of how they can help you and what their costs will be. Or, if you know which institution you want to study at, find the agency that works with them. You can check the agent listing on the college’s website to find the agencies that work with them.

Is there anything we haven’t covered? If you have any further questions about VET courses that you would like us to include in this article, let us know by contacting us through our Facebook page!