This policy outlines the purpose of Vocational Education and Training (VET) delivered to school students (VDSS), the ways schools may offer VDSS and how VDSS funding is allocated.


  • VET allows students to work towards qualifications for all types of employment, and gain sector-specific skills to help them in the workplace.
  • Undertaking VET while at school allows students to mix general and vocational education and to make a start on training for a career before they leave school.
  • VET studies allow secondary students to gain practical skills in a specific industry while contributing towards the completion of the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE), including the VCE Vocational Major.
  • Students can also study VET through school-based apprenticeships or traineeships (SBATs) or part-time apprenticeships and traineeships. In government schools, all SBATs are supported by the Head Start program.


Schools are encouraged to support students to access the VET certificates within the VDSS Core Offering, a set of 12 pathways comprised of 41 VET certificates that reflect student interests, areas of industry need and jobs growth. For more information about the VDSS Core Offering refer to the Guidance tab.

Schools can support student access to VDSS in a number of ways:

  • Schools that are Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) may run VET programs for students.
  • Alternatively, schools may engage external RTOs, including TAFEs, to deliver VET programs either directly or through auspicing arrangements. For department policy and information on engaging RTOs to deliver VET programs refer to: Purchasing Secondary Courses and Vocational Training from External Providers.
  • Students may also access VDSS as part of an SBAT. For department policy and information on school-based and part-time apprenticeships and traineeships refer to: School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships.

VDSS funding

The primary source of funding for VDSS is through the Student Resource Package (SRP) provided to schools.

Government schools are also provided with targeted VET funding to support the higher cost of provision in this area.

A new VDSS funding model for Victoria government schools was introduced in 2023 and will continue in 2024.

The VDSS funding model features:

  • funding bands for VDSS to support VET provision. Funding will be allocated pro-rata for enrolments up to 180 hours per VET certificate per year
  • funding bands for VET materials costs allocated per VET certificate enrolment per year
  • a small-scale adjustment to offset VDSS costs for schools with low total enrolment numbers.

Reference 143 of the SRP Guide outlines the revised VDSS funding model, including how funding for VET programs is allocated to schools and how schools may use their targeted VET funding.

A student enrolled in VET through an SBAT (supported by Head Start) is funded under Skills First and is not eligible for targeted VET funding. However, school-based RTOs are eligible to receive VET materials funding for some certificates for government school students. The department will communicate the Schools Targeted Funding Governance Portal process directly to school-based RTOs each year.

Eligibility for VDSS funding

A VET program will be eligible for funding where:

  • the program is provided to students undertaking certificates at levels II and III, (with certificates IV and above dependent on Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority approval) as part of their VCE, VCE Vocational Major or VPC studies
  • the student is aged between 15 and 20 years of age
  • for VET materials, the costs incurred are for items that are necessarily consumed or transformed by students as part of training or assessment.

Not all VET programs are eligible for VDSS funding. Programs undertaken outside of the school curriculum, traineeships undertaken by students outside of school (such as in a part-time employment arrangement), and Certificates in General Education are excluded.

VET materials funding

VET materials funding is incorporated into the SRP under the revised funding model. This funding will help to address the cost barrier for essential learning materials for VET studies.

VET materials are items required for the provision of a VET program. These items are necessarily consumed or transformed by students as part of training or assessment requirements.

The funding of VET materials aims to allow government schools to support VET selection based on a student’s strengths and interests, without the barrier of financial constraints.

The approach to VET materials funding consists of 2 funding bands based on analysis of market costs. Certificates are placed into either a high-cost or a low-cost materials funding band:

  • high-cost certificate band: $450
  • low-cost certificate band: $250.

Schools will receive payments as quarterly cash grants through the SRP as part of VDSS funding allocations.

Where parents choose to purchase additional or alternate items from those provided or recommended by the school or provider, they may do so at their own expense. Items to be retained by the student will be required to be purchased independently by the students or their families.

VET materials funding for SBATs

Government school-based RTOs will be eligible for VET materials funding for materials costs incurred as part of the delivery of apprenticeship and traineeship programs run through their school. Government school-based RTOs will receive the allocated band funding amount per eligible certificate, for each SBAT enrolment from a government school. This includes enrolments supported by Head Start.

Relevant legislation


For government schools

Schools can contact the Jobs Skills and Pathways Manager in your regional officeExternal Link in the first instance.

Alternatively, schools can contact the VDSS Funding Unit, Senior Secondary Pathways Reform Taskforce at

For Catholic schools

Catholic Education Melbourne
Peter Devery
Phone: 03 9267 0237

For Independent schools

Independent Schools Victoria
Pam Hargreaves
Phone: 03 9825 7246

Department policy outlining the ways in which Vocational Education and Training can be offered to students. This topic includes information about funding and materials funding

Reviewed 18 December 2023

Policy last updated

18 December 2023


  • Schools


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