Hear from part-time and full-time students

Real-life stories from VET students. Hear first-hand about their experiences studying VET.

They come from all across the state, from rural communities, coastal towns and metropolitan areas. They travel from interstate or overseas, and learn on campus, online and in the workplace. They’ve studied short courses, certificates, apprenticeships, diplomas, degrees and foundation studies. They’ve experienced full-time study, juggled work with part-time study or followed flexible courses to suit their lifestyles.

Jordan Cahill landscape construction apprentice
Rose Cox kitchen operations school based apprentice
Shaun Van Uum building and construction apprentice

Jordan Cahill

Certificate III in Landscape Construction

Rose Cox

Certificate II in Kitchen Operations

Shaun Van Uum

Cert III in Carpentry & Cert IV in Building and Construction

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Before pursuing a career, Jordan spoke with family, friends and employers who all recommended an apprenticeship. “They helped me realise that an apprenticeship could open many doors for me because of the practical training and being on-the-job,” he says.

His apprenticeship included a Certificate III in Landscape Construction through TAFE NSW. “I started on small jobs supervised by tradespeople, to being second in charge on larger sites,” says Jordan, who is now a site supervisor.

Last year was an exciting one. “I competed successfully in WorldSkills and won a scholarship with a company that built an exhibit for the Chelsea International Flower Show in London.” He also won the NSW Apprentice of the Year Award and was runner-up at the Australian Training Awards. This year, Jordan is a competition judge at World Skills 2018 in Sydney.

Rose took up cooking as a way of catering to her passion for food, experimentation and expression. As a primary carer for her mother, the VET course she undertook in high school also gave her a skill set to use at home to prepare family meals.

As a part of her qualification, Rose completed a number of work placements and was offered an apprenticeship. She is currently a trainee at PwC, one of Australia’s leading professional services companies, studying for a degree and looking to complete a VET course next year in business administration.

“Every day I use the culinary skills but also the other practical skills like teamwork and organisation,” says the 2017 VET in Schools Student of the Year. “VET is a wonderful opportunity that opens many doors to success.”

Shaun’s attraction to the construction industry came through his enjoyment of design and technology at school, and his keenness for working outdoors. At his high school’s careers night he spoke with employers from the industry, met his current employer and went from there.

In addition to his apprenticeship, where he completed a Certificate III in Carpentry, Shaun took the initiative of enrolling in the Certificate IV in Building and Construction to obtain his building licence. Last year he won Apprentice of the Year at the 2017 Western NSW Training Awards.

Shaun is now helping to site manage the construction of a multimillion-dollar aged care facility and studying for a degree in construction management. “I’m achieving my goal to be a project manager with the knowledge I’ve gained through my apprenticeship, further studies, trade experience and from my employer.”