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Post School Education and Training

The number of options available to school leavers is enough to confuse anybody. University? Training? Learning on the job? No wonder so many people struggle with deciding on a direction when they get to the school leaving age. This guide will outline the options for school leavers and the systems in place to help them out.


Australia’s higher education sector is already vibrant enjoying some of the world’s leading educational institutions. It is set for future growth with more investment at both the state and national level. A degree could be the perfect way for you to launch your future career. Most Australian universities are state-run providers, yet two institutions – Melbourne’s Bond University and WA’s Notre Dame have a national presence.

Search for Australian Universities and find the right one for you.

University costs and financial help

Fees in Australian universities vary depending on course, state and institution. For courses beginning in 2012, many fees are in the region of $20,000 per annum. However, those for medicine and veterinary science are considerably more. In order to help students with the financial burden, the Australian government offers assistance in the form of the HECS-HELP loans which is repaid by the student once they have graduated through the taxation system. Australian institutions offer two types of places for domestic students – Commonwealth supported places (previously known as HECS places) and fee paying places. If you have a commonwealth supported place, your time at university will be subsidised by the Australian government.

Vocational Education and Training (VET)

‘Vocational education and training’ - ‘VET’ for short - is the Australian government’s programme for providing people with skills and knowledge for work. Those interested in such schemes can undertake certificates and diplomas to give them practical skills. These are undertaken at TAFE colleges, sometimes known as institutes, and the timeframe for the different qualifications is listed below.

Qualification               Duration                 Career Path
Certificate I                    4-6 months             competent operator
Certificate II                   6-8 months              advanced operator
Certificate III                  about 12 months      qualified tradesperson or technician
Certificate IV                 12-18 months          supervisor
Diploma                         18-24 months           para-professional
Advanced Diploma        24-36 months          junior manager

Financial support for VET schemes

VET schemes are covered by the HECS system – the financial loans programme allowing students to cover the cost of their studies. In order to qualify, you must be enrolled in a program listed by the Australian governments as part of a higher education scheme. To see whether your programme qualifies for the loan, click here for more information.

Don’t forget to visit our Training and Development page for more information about working in the resources industry.

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