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There are many ways to learn, from university degrees, to short intense courses, to job training and more.

Non Accredited or Pre Accredited Training

Non Accredited or Pre Accredited training is any training that doesn't get you a formal qualification, but is very useful if you need to learn about one particular topic or improve a particular skill in a short space of time. This training is usually run as a short course or workshop.

For example, if you are going into your first job, it's very helpful to learn about the personal skills and qualities that employers want you to have. So it would be a great idea to do a short course in Employability Skills. Visit Youth Central - Planning your career for more detailed information about Employability Skills.

You can access non or pre accredited training in lots of other different skills areas, to suit your needs or to continue your personal development. Some other examples are:

  • Customer service skills

  • Communication skills

  • Job seeking and interviewing skills

  • Motivational skills

  • Problem solving and negotiating skills

  • Mental Health First Aid skills

You usually receive a certificate of attendance or completion as evidence for doing this training, and this can be added to your resume when applying for jobs. It may also be valuable evidence if you ever apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) when you are looking to enrol into an accredited course. 

As there are many training organisations that provide lots of pre and non-accredited courses, you need to check the internet to find out where you can do the training you're after. It's also a good idea to ask other people who may have done similar training to recommend a training provider to you.

Vocational Education and Training (VET)

Vocational education and training (VET) is that part of tertiary education and training which provides accredited training in job related and technical skills. It covers a large number of careers and industries like trades and office work, retail, hospitality and technology.

VET programs provide an education that directly relates to getting a job. You will be assessed on your ability to do the tasks necessary for that particular job. You can do a VET course at a registered training organisation (RTO), such as a TAFE, a university or a private training provider. These courses will suit you if you enjoy learning in a practical and hands-on environment that has a clear purpose.

VET courses are typically shorter and more practical than higher education courses and have an industry and trade focus such as carpenter, plumber and electrician. If you successfully complete a VET qualification, you have a great chance to get into a steady job.

You can apply for help with the cost of your VET course fees through VET FEE HELP. View more information on VET FEE HELP at Study Assist.

For the lowdown on VET, and where to find courses, check out these websites:-



Australian Apprenticeships

Australian Apprenticeships is a training system that combines training and employment which leads to nationally recognised qualifications under VET.

Australian Apprenticeships are generally available in the qualification range of VET Certificate 2 to Certificate 4 in more than 500 jobs across Australia. Increasingly, Diploma level training is also being offered. They cover the traditional trades, as well as a wide range of emerging careers in most areas of business and industry.

  • Agriculture, horticulture and related industries

  • Automotive

  • Building and Construction

  • Business services

  • Finance services

  • Food

  • Hairdressing

  • Community services and health

  • Information technology

  • Light manufacturing

  • Local government

  • Metals and Engineering

  • Printing

  • Process manufacturing

  • Property services

  • Public services

  • Retail

  • Seafood

  • Sport and recreation

  • Telecommunications

  • Tourism

  • Transport and distribution

  • Utilities and energy

Apprenticeships can be full-time, part-time or school-based, are available to anyone of working age, and do not require any entry qualifications. You can be a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce, or simply wishing to change career. Australian Apprenticeships offer:

  • A great way to get a head start in a chosen career.

  • Paid work and structured training that can be on-the-job, off-the-job or a combination of both.

  • ‘Competency based' training, which means training can be completed faster if the required skills level is reached.

  • Recognition of existing skills and prior experience that can allow for course credits being granted, potentially reducing the time spent in training training.

  • Available as full-time or part-time, also available part-time in many schools.

  • Lead to nationally recognized qualifications and skills which provide the basis for further education and training over the course of a working life.

  • A pathway from school to work.

View apprenticeship pathways charts and more information and resources on Australian Apprenticeships Pathways.

Australian Apprenticeship Support Network 

The Australian Apprenticeships Support Network provides information, administration services and support to employers and Australian Apprentices and Trainees. Providers assist with the signing of training contracts and also assess, approve, and process the payment of Australian Government incentives to eligible employers. They also assess, approve and process personal benefits to eligible Australian Apprentices, specifically to assist them in the early years of their Australian Apprenticeship when their wages are generally at their lowest.

Australian Apprenticeships Support Network providers also offer information which may assist employers and/or jobseekers with apprenticeship recruitment and job placement. They are able to refer such enquiries to appropriate agencies such as Job Active and Group Training Australia, who provide these services on a national basis.

Check out Australian Apprenticeship Pathways for contact details of Australian Apprenticeship Support Network providers throughout Australia.

Group Training Organisations

Group Training Organisations, or GTO's, employ apprentices and trainees under an Apprenticeship or Traineeship Training Contract and place them with host employers.

As the employer, the GTO is responsible for the apprentices' and trainees' employment and training. The GTO also manages the extra care and support the apprentice or trainee might need to successfully complete his or her apprenticeship or traineeship.

If you're interested in looking for an apprenticeship or traineeship, it's a great idea to contact a GTO to put your name down as they usually have lots of positions available. For the location and contact details of your nearest GTO go to Group Training Australia Directory.

  • They get paid while they learn;

  • Their training may be eligible for government subsidy;

  • They will not be unemployed if work with a particular host employer runs out because they are employed by the GTO who will find them another placement to continue their apprenticeship / traineeship;

  • They have the flexibility to rotate to other host employers during training;

  • Their wage and allowances are paid by the GTO in accordance to Awards and other agreements;

  • Their training is arranged by the GTO;

  • Their safety equipment will be provided by the GTO before they start work;

  • They are allocated a Field Officer who will be able to help them if they have any issues or need any further information.

Higher Education Qualifications

If you wish to pursue a career as a professional such as lawyer, teacher, nurse, doctor, pharmacist, veterinarian, or engineer, you'll need to do a higher education qualification. These qualifications are called a degree level course, which can take 3 years or more to complete. These courses are mainly available at universities or sometimes TAFE.

The main features of degree level studies include:

  • There is opportunity for Flexible learning e.g. on line, workshop delivery – check out CourseFinder for details on lots of courses.

  • You can get into degree level studies via a VET pathway – individual courses will have information on entry level pathways

  • Financial assistance for course costs is available. Check out Study Assist for more details.

  • You can apply for income support whilst studying. Visit the Australian Government's Services Australia website for this information.

  • Study grants and scholarships are available for many courses. Check out The Good Universities Guide for more information on this.

  • A combination of study and work (Cadetships) are available with some employers – individual company websites have this information

The following are websites that will give you more information about higher education qualifications:

Education and Qualifications Chart

education and qualifications chart

This chart above shows the stages in education starting from Primary school level. It shows where each qualification sits, and at what point you can move into another level. It's helpful to understand this structure so you can plan your learning pathway to achieve your career goals.

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