Why School Leavers Should Consider VET Pathways

With the 2023 HSC now in the rearview mirror, many school leavers (and their parents!) are left with the question ‘What next?’.

With the rise in early university offers, there can be significant pressure on those who don’t have the future sewn up just yet.

There’s considerable emphasis placed on university these days, but the reality is that it is not the most suitable path for every school leaver. If your child is not sure what’s next, I encourage you to take a look at vocational education and training (VET) pathways.

There is a lingering misconception that VET is the ‘poor cousin’ to university, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Today, VET covers everything from aircraft engineering to hospitality and trades and is an excellent pathway to business ownership – and a lucrative career.

Here’s why VET might be the right pathway for your HSC graduate.

Opportunities abound

The variety of VET courses is expansive, from Business and Entrepreneurship, Hospitality, Health and Community Support, Retail, and Employment Services to Supply Chain Operations and Trades. This diversity allows school leavers to choose a path they’re genuinely interested in and passionate about, driving a more focused and enjoyable learning experience and, ultimately, a more fulfilling career.

And post-COVID, these are some of our most sought-after industries, offering a wealth of job opportunities across the country and even the globe.

Real-time skills for a fast-moving world

With the pace of change today, real-time learning is a significant advantage – precisely what VET offers. Balancing theory and learning on the job means students develop the skills to thrive in a live working environment. 

The earn-while-you-learn model also gives young people an important grounding in the social, emotional and communication skills needed to navigate a workplace and puts them in a great position to succeed from the outset. 

An increasing focus on STEM skills

Many VET pathways that were traditionally about more manual labour have become about STEM skills. We only have to look at a trade like mechanics – cars have evolved to being driven by computers, and a whole host of new skills and abilities are required to thrive.

The same can be said for most trades, from plumbing to electrical. Technology is changing the game. HSC graduates with an interest and skills in STEM areas are increasingly in demand.

An excellent choice for budding entrepreneurs

A VET pathway may be a great fit if your child learns best by doing and is ready to get out from behind a desk.

VET courses are practical and prepare students directly for the workforce. This outcome-oriented approach gives them real hands-on experience and the opportunity to see what working in their chosen industry is like while they are still studying. With the ability to start work, earn a wage and build career experience earlier, VET pathways can be incredibly attractive.

And for those who have that entrepreneurial flair, VET is an excellent entryway to business ownership. From tradespeople to chefs, many pathways are perfectly positioned for entrepreneurs to thrive.

A foundation for further learning

It’s also important to note that choosing a VET pathway does not close the door to further education. Instead, it can serve as a stepping stone to higher-level qualifications or even a university degree in the future. This pathway approach allows school leavers to gain practical skills and work experience before deciding whether to invest in further study. 

Encouraging your child to consider a VET pathway is not about diverting them from university but about broadening their horizons and helping them understand that there are several paths to success. Ultimately, the most important thing is that they choose a path that suits their interests, goals and learning preferences.

VERTO is here to support you and your child in making informed decisions about their future. Contact the team on 1300 483 786 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss how a VET pathway could be the perfect fit for your school leaver.