What is VET Delivered to Secondary Students program?


VET DSS stands for Vocational Education & Training Delivered to Secondary Students.

It combines VCE or VCE VM studies at school, with practical hands-on experience and training at TAFE. You need to be at least 15 years old and in Year 10, 11 or 12 to join.

Gain insights and experience within an industry you’re interested in working in, and get ahead in your career with VET DSS.

Why would I choose to do VET DSS?

Having a VET DSS qualification helps you to pathway into an apprenticeship, traineeship or employment, and best of all, when you have finished school – you can fast track into another course in the same area or we will help you choose an area of interest.

Sometimes, subjects at school may not be of interest to you. So once a week, come to SWTAFE and gain practical skills, employability skills and build your confidence.

Just remember there is no right or wrong reason to do VET DSS. In partnership with your school, we are helping to prepare you to start thinking about your future and the endless possibilities available to you.


Vocational Education and Training delivered to Secondary Students (VET DSS)

Programs are offered over two years, and contribute to your VCE or VCE VM. You attend campus once a week (generally on Thursday afternoons) and sometimes this is supported by work placement or structured workplace learning, to further enhance skills and provide job opportunities.

  • Attend SWTAFE one afternoon a week.
  • Range of study areas to choose from.
  • Counts towards VCE and VCE VM programs.
  • No employer required.

* All secondary school students need to register their interest with the schools VET Coordinator.

For more information, speak to your school's careers teacher or contact the VET DSS Schools Partnership Leader, Stacey Gill on (03) 5564 8552 or email stacey.gill@swtafe.edu.au.


School-based apprenticeships and traineeships allow students to start an apprenticeship or complete a traineeship while still in high school. You must be 15 years or over to start a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship.

On average, a minimum of one day a week is spent on the job with an employer, plus some of the school holidays. For the rest of the school week, you complete the South West TAFE component of your training and your other VCE or VCE VM subjects.

As a school-based apprentice, you undertake the first stage of your formal or off-the-job apprenticeship training at school.

After completing Year 12, you can commence full-time employment as a second-year apprentice provided that you have successfully completed the training program while at school.

School-based apprenticeships are offered in a range of areas including automotive, beauty therapy, construction, plumbing, hairdressing and hospitality and many more.

  • A choice of delivery options.
  • Range of study areas to choose from.
  • Counts towards VCE and VCE VM programs.
  • Student must be employed part-time and have a signed Training Contract.

School-based apprenticeships allow you to:

  • Learn practical skills that employers desire
  • Start earning money
  • Get a head start on gaining a Nationally Recognised Qualifications for your future career
  • Gain credits towards final years of schooling
  • Tailor training options around the employer, apprentice and school requirements.

These options include:

TAFE a day or week block training / work a day.

Students will attend a day of training and a day on the job with an employer. They will attend their secondary school the other 3 days. This can vary from course to course depending on employer requirements and delivery schedules.  Most SBAT's will come in for block training over a week several times throughout the year.  


This is where all the training takes place in the workplace.

SBAT training can occur at Certificate II or Certificate III level training, and are usually done over a two year period. The student needs to allow for an average of 13 hours per week for employment and training, and spend at least one timetabled day during the normal school week on the job or in training. All SBAT contribute to VCE or VCE VM studies.

Students need to register their interest with the school’s careers teacher and engage an Apprenticeship Centre for sign-up.


Victorian Pathways Certificate or Victorian Certificate of Education - Vocational Major

At South West TAFE you can obtain your Victorian Certificate of Education - Vocational Major (VCE VM) certificate offering individualised training plans and subjects to meet your career pathway needs.  Through a supported environment with small class sizes, students engage in project based learning.

SWTAFE VCE VM provides students with an alternative pathway to mainstream schooling. It gives students in Years 10, 11 and 12 the chance to learn with 'hands on' practical experience as well as literacy and numeracy skills in an adult education environment.

Students can enrol in either Victorian Pathways Certificate (VPC) or Victorian Certificate of Education - Vocational Major (VCE VM) at SWTAFE.

For more information on VPC oVM r VCE at South West Institute of TAFE please contact the Skills and Jobs Centre -  55648 515.