VET in schools prepares students for the future

Media release

8 April 2020

Secondary school students who undertake school-based apprenticeships and traineeships are among the most likely to be in full-time permanent employment five years later, according to a new report released today by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

The report VET for secondary school students (VfSSS): post-school employment and training destinations also shows they were more likely to be employed in an occupation relevant to their VfSSS course than students who did not undertake an apprenticeship or traineeship as part of school studies.

“Choosing the right VET course and pathway as part of secondary schooling can make a substantial difference to students looking for a direct transition from school into an apprenticeship or full-time ongoing employment,” said Simon Walker, Managing Director, NCVER.

“Also, most VfSS students who’d gone on to complete post-school qualifications had done so at a higher level than their original qualification, demonstrating the important role VfSSS plays in motivating students to study further.”

The report uses an integrated dataset linking NCVER’s National VET in Schools Collection with the 2016 ABS Census of Population and Housing to investigate the post-school employment and training destinations of secondary school students who undertook VfSSS programs in 2011.

It shows that although the majority of those who had gone on to complete post-school qualifications had gained VET certificates or diplomas, around a fifth had gone on to gain a bachelor’s degree.

“This is evidence that VfSSS programs are also being used by students who are following an ATAR pathway and that we shouldn’t think of VfSS students as a homogenous group. NCVER is planning to look more closely at this group of VfSS students in the future.”

The report also includes an analysis of Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY) data to enable a comparison between VfSS students and non-VfSS students.

It shows that in 2016, VfSS students were more likely than non-VFSS students to be in full-time, permanent employment and to have completed an apprenticeship, while non-VfSS students were more likely to be undertaking further studies and to have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Also, VfSS students who had not obtained an ATAR (55% of the total) were more likely than VfSS students who had obtained one to have completed an apprenticeship and be in permanent and ongoing employment.

The report VET for secondary school students: post-school employment and training destinations is now available on our Portal.

This study is a follow-up to VET in Schools students: characteristics and post-school employment and training experiences (2017), which reported on post-school outcomes for students who undertook VfSSS programs in 2006.

Media enquiries: Helen Wildash, PR and Social Media Officer M: 0448 043 148 E:

About NCVER: we are the principal provider of research, statistics and data on Australia’s VET sector. Our services help promote better understanding of VET and assist policy-makers, practitioners, industry, training providers, and students to make informed decisions.

This work has been produced by NCVER on behalf of the Australian Government and state and territory governments, with funding provided through the Australian Government Department for Education, Skills and Employment.