Victorian teachers will be supported to retrain as vocational specialists, and those working in in-demand trades can upskill to become teachers, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s huge boost to applied learning. Minister for Education Natalie Hutchins attended the opening of the EduTECH conference to announce an investment of $24.6 million will support Victoria’s vocational and applied learning workforce, building capacity as the education system prepares for the new VCE Vocational Major to be introduced in schools from 2023.
The funding will attract those from industry to become VET trainers, enabling them to pass on their skills and knowledge to enthusiastic young learners keen on a vocational pathway – as part of an $87.9 million package in the Victorian Budget 2022/23 to strengthen the workforce for the new-look VCE.
“The reforms to our senior secondary system will open more doors to all Victorian students, whether they want to pursue higher educational studies or move straight into work – that’s why we’re boosting our teaching workforce to deliver world-class vocational and applied learning to the industry leaders of tomorrow”, Minister for Education Natalie Hutchins said.
“It’s fantastic to see some of Victoria’s most accomplished vocational students at the EduTECH conference today – it’s proof that no matter what your dreams or ambitions, there is a pathway for everyone in Victorian schools”, the minister added.
The Labor Government’s $277 million overhaul of the senior secondary system will see the VCE Vocational Major replace VCAL from next year – preparing students to move into apprenticeships, traineeships, further education and training, non-ATAR university pathways or straight into the workforce.
Students undertake specific studies – like literacy, numeracy, work-related skills and personal development – that will keep them in good stead for whatever they choose to do after school, as well as at least 180 hours of VET, their choice of other traditional VCE studies, and time in the workplace which will provide credits towards their VCE.
The reforms will mean Year 11 and 12 students across Victoria have better access to high-quality vocational and applied learning opportunities – whether they’re interested in pursuing a career in engineering, mental health, early childhood, automotive, hospitality, hair and beauty or dozens of other in-demand sectors.
The new certificate will better enable students with to be part of hands-on projects that not only provide them with transferable skills for future jobs, but open doors to career paths they may have never previously considered.
The EduTECH conference will showcase the products and talents of some of the state’s best and brightest vocational students, many of whom intend to follow the VCE Vocational Major pathway when they reach Year 11.
Bendigo Tech School’s Girls in STEAM Electric Car Project has seen students from government, Catholic and independent schools work to convert a Range Rover into a Tesla-style electric vehicle – giving them practical, transferable skills in the industries of the future, whether they go on to apprenticeships, TAFE or higher education.