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VCAL students explain: Why traditional secondary schooling wasn't for me

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is a practical option for students in Years 11 and 12, designed to prepare them for further education, training or employment by providing them with work-related experience, literacy and numeracy skills.

This is a common choice for students who are finding that the secondary school education is not quite getting them to the place they need to be with their learnings.

Recently we spoke to a few of our VCAL students about their reasons why they decided to further their education via this format rather than the traditional year 12 secondary school pathway.

Samual Lovett, Adam Bailey and Hannah Pike are all VCAL students of Wodonga TAFE and had recently been involved in a project where they got to learn warehousing skills by taking part in the stock control processes. They were happy to answer some questions.


Why did you choose VCAL over Secondary School?

Samuel Lovett – During 2018, I ended up missing too many days of school, so I ended up coming to TAFE and completing a general VCAL course. This year I decided to come back to TAFE and focus more on an industry area so I’ll have skills to find a job.

Adam Bailey – Moved to the area in 2018, as I didn’t feel comfortable beginning a new school in year 12. I completed a general VCAL last year, I felt that the VCAL course offered a more fun, adult learning environment that focused on teaching important skills.

Hannah Pike – The regular school environment didn’t suit my learning style, the more interactive approach taken in the TAFE environment is better for me.


What have been some highlights of the course so far?

Samuel Lovett – Getting practical work experience, with a main focus on developing work related skills.

Adam Bailey – Getting licences at the end of the course (Forklift licence if they are over 18). Making good friends and getting practical workplace experience.

Hannah Pike – One day a week is workplace related learning, the mix of practical and theory keeps me interested. I know all of the skills I learn from this course will help me in whatever industry I work in.


What have been some of the benefits you’ve noticed since beginning the course?

Samuel Lovett – I've become more confident in my own ability, and have become overall more confident in approaching new things.

Adam Bailey – The classes are focused on teaching skills to help employment in the future.

Hannah Pike – Increased social skills, don’t have as much anxiousness when going to class, the focus on practical aspect has really helped.


What is your future aim from completing this course?

Samuel Lovett – To find either full-time or part-time employment.

Adam Bailey – Get employment, in the future if I need to do more education TAFE is my first choice. I have enjoyed the mutual respect between the class and the teacher, and how learning focuses on how to act in workplace.

Hannah Pike – Further study, either into Fashion Design or find employment in Warehousing.


If you would like to explore your options and want to know more about VCAL opportunities, make sure you speak to your student welfare officer or one of your teachers at school. Otherwise feel free to contact us and we can get you in touch with one of our trained VCAL experts who can go through your options with you.  Call us 1300 698 233.





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