Vocational Education & Training in Schools

Trade Training

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 kinds 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 for 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?

The Parramatta diocese has two schools incorporating a trade training centre:

McCarthy Catholic College Trade Training Centre Emu Plains offers Automotive Mechanical, Brick and Block Laying, Carpentry, Hospitality (Commercial Cookery), Electrotechnology, Hairdressing, Engineering and Early Childhood Education and Care.

Loyola Senior High School Mt Druitt offers Automotive Mechanical, Shopfitting, Carpentry, Hospitality (Commercial Cookery), Electrotechnology, Hairdressing, Engineering and Early Childhood Education and Care.

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

For more information see Catholic Trade Training Centres.

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.

Who should I speak to if I have more questions?

Contact the Leader of Learning VET at your local school.



Start a trade at school and get your HSC


There are two Catholic Trade Training Centres (CTTCs) in our diocese located at McCarthy Catholic College, Emu Plains and Loyola Senior High School, Mt Druitt which are open to all Year 11 students.
Learn more...


Enquire Now

BY PHONE: 9407 7065

Catholic Trade Training Centres are
located at:

Loyola Senior High School
91 North Parade Mt Druitt

Enquire by email

McCarthy Catholic College
75 MacKellar Street Emu Plains
Enquire by email

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