Did you know that students in Years 11 and 12 (and sometimes even 10) can take a TAFE course while still at school? This means that they can gain a qualification, get credits towards their QCE and open pathways to university, all while completing their senior studies! If your child has an interest in vocational training or qualifications, this can be a great way to fast-track their learning path and future career.
The program is called TAFE at School, and it is run by TAFE (Technology and Further Education) Queensland. TAFE at School gives Brisbane students access to a huge number of Certificate II and Certificate III courses run by TAFE while they are still at school.
The program is available to students enrolled in Year 11 or 12, who will be attending a Queensland high school for the duration of the program. It is also available to Year 10 students who have a letter of support from their school principal.
There are courses in everything from early childhood and engineering to hospitality and IT, and many of the courses are available for reduced fees or even no fees (see The Costs below). You can study at TAFE or at school, and school-based apprenticeships and traineeships are also available, so students can earn money while still at school. Read on to find out more.
TAFE is the biggest and most experienced institute of vocational education and training in Queensland. TAFE Queensland has been running courses for students for over 130 years and has seen over seven million students pass through its doors.
Taking part in the TAFE at School program allows students to learn practical skills from professionals that will get them ready for work. It will also earn them credit towards their Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE), as well as credit points towards a diploma course or university degree. Completing a TAFE at School course also gives students guaranteed entry into a TAFE Queensland Brisbane Diploma course.
TAFE Queensland offers flexible study options, and the term dates match the Queensland school terms so they can fit easily with students’ current timetables.
As part of the TAFE at School program, students can choose from over fifty great certificate level vocational education and training (VET) courses offered by TAFE. A full course guide can be found at tafebrisbane.edu.au. For an idea of the wide variety available, here is a list of the general study areas on offer:
- Animal Studies
- Beauty and Hairdressing
- Building and Construction
- Business and Justice Studies
- Children’s Services and Auslan
- Information Technology
- Media and Digital Design
- Music and Sound Production
- Science and Allied Health
- Sports and Recreation
- Tourism and Health
- Visual Arts
TAFE at School is available can be available in schools or on campus. Below are more details of both options:
Queensland schools can partner with TAFE Queensland to provide TAFE courses. The existing school teachers are then given training so that they are qualified to deliver TAFE vocational training. TAFE Queensland provides the school with support, resources, and advice in order to ensure the highest standard of training is delivered to students. Plus students completing courses in their own school are still part of TAFE Queensland, and still receive a TAFE Queensland award on completion.
Students can check with their school’s Guidance Officer, VET Coordinator or Head of Senior Schooling to find out if this option is available to them.
TAFE Queensland has campuses all over Brisbane. There training facilities offer advanced, industry-relevant classrooms work spaces. These facilities are adult learning environments, so studying there gives students a chance to see what it is like studying in a higher education setting. TAFE has campuses in the following areas:
- Acacia Ridge
- Alexandra Hills
- Bracken Ridge
- Eagle Farm
- Mt Gravatt
- South Bank
You can read the Course Guide here to find out which courses are offered at which campuses.
The Apprenticeships and Traineeships
TAFE Queensland also offers both school-based apprenticeships and school-based traineeships. This gives students the chance to become an apprentice or trainee while still at school, giving them a headstart in their career and a chance to earn money while still at school. The apprenticeship or traineeship also gives students credit points towards their QCE.
The differences between the two options are that apprentices get training in a skilled trade and become a qualified tradesperson on completion, whereas trainees get training in a vocational are but do not become qualified tradespeople at that time.
For senior school students taking part in Certificate I or Certificate II qualifications, they may be eligible for reduced course fees or, in certain situations, no course fees at all. However, Certificate III courses will be subject to fees. Payment plans may also be available, so be sure to enquire.
The costs vary depending on the course, so you can visit this link to see the costs involved in the a areas that are relevant to your child.
To enrol in the TAFE at School program, students can submit an application at tafeapply.com. Before applying, students should have already made a Senior Education and Training (SET) Plan. If not, check with the school Guidance Office, VET Coordinator or Head of Senior Schooling for information on how to do this.
Students will also need the course code from the Course Guide and their USI number (see usi.gov.au) to apply.
Students can only enrol in one program with TAFE Queensland, so they must consider the options carefully before choosing.
For more educational resources, you can visit the Education page here.