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Minister Merlino sitting on a desk

Congratulations on reaching your final years of secondary school. This is an important milestone in your education and you have many exciting options to consider as you start thinking about your future and the career you would like to pursue.

In Victoria we are committed to making sure that our schools have the best facilities, our classrooms have the best teachers and that every student is given every chance to thrive, grow and succeed.

This year has been unprecedented with the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in schools across the state undertaking remote learning. Despite the disruptions to your learning you have shown outstanding resilience and flexibility. I commend you for your efforts and can assure you that these qualities will stand you in very good stead for your future studies.

The final years at school demand determination, hard work and resilience. The information in this book – Where to Now? Guide to the VCE, VCAL, VET, Apprenticeships and Traineeships – will provide you with advice to help make informed decisions about what pathway to take in Years 11 and 12.

You can choose from two senior secondary qualifications – the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) and the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL). They both mark the successful completion of secondary schooling in Victoria. You can also undertake a Vocational Education and Training (VET) certificate or school-based apprenticeship or traineeship as part of your VCE or VCAL.

There have never been more choices available to Year 12 graduates, including university, TAFE, traineeships and work.

The VCE is a world-class qualification, recognised throughout Australia and around the world for entry to university. You can include Vocational Education and Training in Schools (VETiS) in your VCE.

The VCAL is a hands-on option that helps you develop knowledge and skills in preparation for apprenticeships, traineeships and employment, as well as further education and training. It gives you practical work-related experience, along with proficiency in literacy and numeracy, and opportunities to develop leadership, teamwork and other vital capabilities for work and later life. You can include VCE studies in your VCAL.

I encourage you to read the stories in this booklet from students who have completed VCE, VCAL, VET and school-based apprenticeships and traineeships. They have faced the challenges and enjoyed the triumphs of the senior secondary years, and they’ve provided great advice that will help you to decide what you want to study. The range and variety of their chosen pathways shows what is possible through the flexible learning opportunities available to Victorian students.

I hope you find this edition of Where to Now? Guide to the VCE, VCAL, VET, Apprenticeships and Traineeships a practical and inspiring resource. I wish you the best for your senior secondary schooling and the years that follow.

The Hon. James Merlino MP
Deputy Premier
Minister for Education