This has been a challenging year for every Victorian student. But that’s particularly true for VCAL and VET school students – many of whom have missed out on practical hands-on learning.
As part of an assistance package announced by the Victorian Government, students will be able to access special consideration to support them to achieve their VCAL certificates, and those school students who were unable to complete their VET qualifications will be guaranteed enrolment at TAFE or dual sector providers to complete their studies in 2021.
There are more than 10,000 students in their final year of schooling completing VCAL. Where students are unable to complete units, the VCAA will grant students credit which ensures every student will be supported to gain their VCAL certificate regardless of the impact of the pandemic. Schools will consider the impact of remote learning including:
• School closures and remote learning impacting on practical parts of their studies
• Long absences
• Dealing with substantial extra responsibilities at home
• Impacts on student health and wellbeing and/or immediate family
• Mental health challenges
Students undertaking applied learning through VET have also faced a unique set of challenges this year with many unable to participate in essential practical learning. More than 15,000 VCAL and VCE students are undertaking studies for nationally recognised VET qualifications.
The requirements of completing VET qualifications are regulated by the Federal Government and students must demonstrate competency against a national framework. This provides employers with certainty in employing individuals with qualifications. For example, students who complete a Certificate II in Plumbing (Pre-Apprenticeship) would have demonstrated the skills that employers are looking for when recruiting apprentice plumbers.
Students who do not complete their VET qualifications in 2020 as intended, will be guaranteed enrolment at a TAFE or dual sector provider and have their 2021 VET fees waived in order to complete their course, or an equivalent course where it is not provided. Not only will this support students to continue their studies, it’ll save families hundreds of dollars in tuition fees.
Ensuring a seamless continuation of VET studies, students will receive a Statement of Attainment for completed VET units of competency in 2020, recognised at all RTOs and TAFEs.
Students will also be able to continue their VET studies until December 18, providing an additional month to complete their VET studies and have these recognised on their VCAL certificate.
To support VET students to catch-up in Term 4, the Government is providing a $4.6 million boost to cover extra costs for Year 12 students to complete VET studies that cannot be met within the school’s current VET budget.
This funding will help cover items such as additional fees, materials, and staff supervision costs, along with costs associated with changed enrolments in VET Units, or transport costs associated with additional training – ensuring no student is left behind.
Schools are also working closely with VET providers to enable students to undertake essential assessments on-site and to get them back into training and workplaces as soon as it is safe to do so.
As stated by Premier Daniel Andrews
“It shouldn’t matter whether you’re doing VCE or VCAL – every Year 12 student deserves to finish school with their certificate and the certainty to begin their future.”
“We know that every one of our students has been impacted in some way by this pandemic – and they can be confident that it doesn’t decide their future.”
As stated by Minister for Education James Merlino
“This has been a year like no other. It’s why our message to every student is this: if you’ve worked hard, if you’ve done your best – we’ll help make sure you succeed.”
“The skills learnt in a VET qualification will be critical to our state’s recovery – that’s why we’ll make sure these students have the extra time and extra support they need to complete their studies.”