Newstead College students share their perceptions on the VET sector for Pick up the Tools

ALL OPTIONS OPEN: Newstead College students Tom Johnson with Taylor Rush, Lily Spencer and Lucas Long are keeping all future career paths open. Picture: Neil Richardson
ALL OPTIONS OPEN: Newstead College students Tom Johnson with Taylor Rush, Lily Spencer and Lucas Long are keeping all future career paths open. Picture: Neil Richardson

Temptation to have a qualification under their belt at the end of grade 12 has led some students at Newstead College to opt into vocational education.

Students studying VET subjects at college can leave grade 12 with a Certificate II in their chosen fields and some young people believe this could lead them more readily into employment.

That’s the view of Newstead College students Tom Johnson and Taylor Rush, who have both chosen VET subjects in their college years.

For Miss Rush, who is grade 12, the decision has led directly to a career in her chosen field – hospitality.

“I did a Certificate II in Kitchen Operations in year 11,” Miss Rush said.

“We did some restaurant nights at the Country Club and as a result of that I was offered a casual job.”

Miss Rush and Mr Johnson shared their thoughts on VET, along with Lily Spencer and Lucas Long, as part of The Examiner’s Pick up the Tools campaign.

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Mr Long and Miss Spencer have both chosen to follow pre-tertiary education and plan to go to university after they graduate from Newstead College.

Mr Long said he didn’t know much about the VET sector, but not because the information wasn’t there.

“I think it comes down to interest. It wasn’t because it [the information] wasn’t there, I just didn’t seek it.”

Both Mr Long and Miss Spencer said they were both planning on doing a Bachelor of Exercise Science.

Mr Johnson is studying ICT and said it was his interest in the area and the thought of a qualification that drew him there.

Newstead College offers 12 VET subjects, including digital media, community services, retail cosmetics, agriculture, construction pathways, hospitality and sport and recreation.

It also offers school-based apprenticeships.

Assistant principal Linda Goss said the school took pride in developing a rapport with students.

“We follow them pretty closely, so we get to know their interests and try to steer them where they want to go,” she said.

She said these days it was more common to see students choose to do both pre-tertiary and VET subjects, to ensure they kept their options open.