"Vocational Education and Training in Thomas More College provides access to training services, career guidance, opportunities to explore vocational aspirations, and synchronisation of Flexible Learning subjects to promote SACE achievement and employability skills, knowledge and opportunities. Access and integration of Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships are also encouraged and utilised through VET in SACE options"
Specific training has two major components:
1. Training organised through a student's employment (Australian School based Apprenticeships (ASbA), or Community Learning
2. Recognised training organised through the school.
Commencing in 2007, we introduced a number of new Flexible Learning subjects and trialled different and flexible delivery methodologies. Where the student numbers were small for a specific subject we were able to combine such classes and use a team teaching/facilitation approach in order to meet the demands of the students. Students choosing Flexible Learning options in such subjects as Work-Place Practices were able to concentrate on the achievement of employability skills and specific introductory trade or traineeship skills. The opportunity to combine applicable SACE subjects with VET is available for all students including those within the Vanier Unit, (our Special Education unit).
VET in 2012 continued to see a strong female student participation focusing on a range of Certificate II and Certificate III areas in Community Services, Beauty and Health. Access to these programs allowed many of the Year 12 students to supplement their SACE credits and allow their ability to complete their SACE. We have had an increase in the number of Certificate III completions. Traditional trade training opportunities are still in short supply for specific trades such as electrical and plumbing. Travel and training fees are still major obstacles.
We have had a number of students with special needs access Certificate III level courses with good success. Our new arrival students, predominately English as an Additional language students, have participated in a range of programs and have found success in the learning styles presented in training. Students' long-term interest in the traditional trades has tended to concentrate on the Construction industry and mining and as such age becomes a barrier to aspects of training.
We continue to provide financial support and opportunities for students wishing to access VET. This includes special needs students including our Vanier Unit and students who will have significant difficulties accessing a more traditional academic pathway.