At Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta, our mission is to enable and support our students to achieve a rewarding and fulfilling life, contributing positively to society and providing strong foundations for life.

The curriculum offered in our schools provides outstanding learning opportunities for all students and caters to a wide range of interests and abilities.

Our leadership and excellence in Vocational Education and Training (VET) has been recognised with an Australian Training Award for Small Provider of the Year as well as numerous NSW Training Awards.

VET programs are delivered across 26 sites including through our virtual School of Now, and CathWest Innovation College, which boasts a successful school-based apprenticeship and traineeship program.

VET courses give students the freedom to explore roles and industries they may wish to pursue, with some students undertaking multiple VET courses.

CathWest Innovation College
School of Now

Our expert VET teachers bring our courses to life and we have teams in each of our schools to ensure student success.

Each year, our VET programs continue to grow and improve, recognising that all of our delivery sites, communities and students are different, and industry needs are diverse.

Learn more about our great teachers

Students learn best when they are connected to the ‘real world’ and our trade training program is highly successful.

Trade pathway students access school-based apprenticeships and traineeships (SBATs) in a range of industry areas.

Students attend school three days per week, with one day each per week of trade theory and work. These students also participate in work blocks for two weeks per term.

We are training for now and the future to meet workforce demands in a rapidly changing world.

Vocational Education FAQs

What is VET in schools?

Vocational education is all work related learning in schools. Research shows that vocational learning at school is important for successful transition into adult life. Parramatta Catholic systemic schools have a range of programs for Years 7-12 that address learning about, and through, work as well as employability skills development.

Students have the opportunity to undertake accredited Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses. These courses give dual accreditation for the HSC or School Certificate as well as Nationally Recognised Training qualification recognised throughout Australia. These courses are delivered either within school or by external providers such as TAFE or private providers such as Motor Trader's Association.

What kind of VET courses do schools deliver?

All schools offer a variety of VET courses from the list below. Most schools specialise in the delivery a few of these. Some schools specialise in offering a wide range of VET courses including:

  • Business Services
  • Electrotechnology
  • Entertainment
  • Information Technology
  • Primary Industries
  • Construction
  • Hairdressing
  • Hospitality
  • Metals and Engineering
  • Retail
  • Tourism
  • Financial Services
  • Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Primary Industries
  • Fitness
Why are VET courses so popular?

Almost one half of senior students in Parramatta diocesan Catholic schools study VET courses. All VET courses give students the opportunity to fast track a career. Qualifications achieved at school will be recognised for further training beyond school and generally provide credit transfer to related higher qualifications.

All VET courses provide practical and hands-on approaches to learning that are enjoyed by many students. All students are required to do a minimum one-week on-the-job each year. This gives them the chance to apply their classroom learning in a real world setting and some students pick up part-time jobs that provide a valuable work record and experience for later life.

Do VET courses count for the HSC?

Absolutely. All VET courses, whether studied at school or with another registered provider, give credit for the HSC and will appear on the HSC Statement of Attainment issued by the Board of Studies. Additionally, many VET courses offer an HSC examination and and an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) score that can count towards university entrance into all degrees.

Will students aiming for university be disadvantaged by doing VET in the HSC?

Many students who are bound for university take a VET course. The record shows that they are not disadvantaged for university entrance. HSC marks in VET courses compare more than favourably with marks in general courses when students commit study time.

Completion of Certificate III courses provide a direct pathway to university without ATAR.

What if a student is interested in a trade?

Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta offers a range of trade pathways through CathWest Innovation College:

  • Automotive Mechanical
  • Shopfitting
  • Carpentry
  • Hospitality (Commercial Cookery)
  • Electrotechnology
  • Hairdressing
  • Engineering
  • Early Childhood Education and Care.
  • Automotive Mechanical
  • Brick and Block Laying
  • Carpentry
  • Hospitality (Commercial Cookery)
  • Electrotechnology
  • Hairdressing
  • Engineering
  • Early Childhood Education and Care.

Students will complete the HSC and the first year of a trade qualification.

Learn more about trade pathways
What about students with special learning needs?

Students with special needs often benefit from undertaking VET courses. The dual qualifications and work experience are valued by employers and are an obvious advantage for transition beyond school.

Learning Pathways
Meeting Diverse Learning Needs
High Support Learning Centres

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