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More than your ATAR – VET Education Options

By August 23, 2020No Comments

Post school education doesn’t have to be TAFE vs university. Increasingly, both work together to provide a comprehensive further education. It’s your passion that will define the direction of your education journey.

Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses – usually offered through TAFE or an RTO (Registered Training Organisation) – are thought to be a more practical form of learning that equip young rural and regional people to stay where they live. To continue life with their family and friends, where there are job opportunities and they can participate in the country community they care about. As there are often local options, choosing this path can also avoid a stressful city move.


CEF is indiscriminate in supporting young students (aged 16 to 25) seeking further education. This means we provide grants to VET students just as openly as to those enrolled in a university course.

Ky White is a first-year electro-technology apprentice with Ben Tregear Electrical in his hometown of Cootamundra. He studies eight hours per week via Wagga Wagga TAFE and is one of  CEF Cootamundra’s 2020 grant recipients.

“The topics are presented in mostly a practical fashion, and I have come across mathematical skills useful in my TAFE studies. The DC circuitry and the Work Health and Safety components have eased me into the course in a practical, hands on manner.”

Ky says that the best thing has been meeting other apprentices who have a wide range of interests. Along with the support from CEF, he also credits his employer and the mentorship he has received as being especially helpful and supportive.

“Take every opportunity as is comes. Take advice from others, as this is training for life.”

I have purchased hand and power tools for my apprenticeship. These tools are used every day of the week and I am always grateful for the opportunity to have the financial support to make my working week easier.


TAFE NSW Regional General Manager Belinda MacKinnon says all students should start exploring what works for them if they haven’t already.

“While university may be a viable option for some, it’s important that VET is considered a ‘Plan A’ for others.”

Ms MacKinnon said it shouldn’t be TAFE versus uni, but TAFE AND uni.

“Students undertaking a TAFE NSW course have options to transition into higher education pathways through credit transfer and agreements between TAFE NSW and university partners.

“At the same time, pathways are increasingly a two-way street. More and more, young people who already have a degree under their belt are looking to the training sector to gain an edge over other graduates by enriching their education with practical TAFE training.”


In terms of wage comparisons, the latest Skilling Australia data shows the median full-time income for university graduates is $54,000; whereas a TAFE NSW graduate is earning $56,000.

We're here to help! Check out our 'Make it Possible' Rural & Regional Inspiration Hub for real help and advice on making the right decision for YOU.


Author ashlea

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