Policy last updated

18 December 2023


  • Schools

February 2020



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



VDSS Core Offering

The Vocational Education and Training (VET) delivered to school students (VDSS) Core Offering is a set of certificates grouped into 12 pathways. The 12 pathways are organised into 6 priority pathways and 6 flexible pathways. Schools are encouraged to work towards providing students access to a choice of 8 certificates from within the VDSS Core Offering – at least 6 from the priority pathways and at least 1 certificate from 2 of the flexible pathways.

The 6 priority pathways include VET certificates that lead to skills and employment in Victoria’s growth industries and government priorities. The 6 flexible pathways include additional VET certificates that are aligned to students’ interests, regional demand, and community needs.

All 41 certificates in the VDSS Core Offering are within the VCE-VET programs developed by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA).

These certificates have been chosen because they are most suitable for school-aged students to develop the skills and knowledge required for specific industries and align to the requirements of VCAA.

The VDSS Core Offering will be reviewed regularly to reflect shifts in Victoria’s economy and any changes in the VET certificates available to school students.

Priority VDSS pathways


  • Certificate II in Health Support Service
  • Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance (partial completion) incorporating Certificate III in Health Services Assistance*^

Community Services and Early Childhood Education

  • Certificate II in Active Volunteering
  • Certificate III in Community Services incorporating Certificate II in Community Service*^
  • Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (partial completion)^
  • Certificate II in Applied Language
  • Certificate III in Applied Language

Building and Construction

  • Certificate II in Construction Pathways^
  • Certificate II in Building and Construction Pre-apprenticeship (partial completion)^
  • Certificate II in Plumbing (Pre-apprenticeship)^
  • Certificate II in Civil Construction^

Digital Media and Technologies

  • Certificate II in Applied Digital Technologies
  • Certificate III in Information Technology*^
  • Certificate II in Integrated Technologies (Pre-vocational)*^


  • Certificate II in Hospitality*^
  • Certificate II in Cookery (previously Certificate II in Kitchen Operations)*^

Clean Energy and Engineering

  • Certificate II in Engineering Studies*^
  • Certificate III in Laboratory Skills*^
  • Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start)^
  • Certificate II in Electrotechnology Studies (Pre-vocational)^ Flexible VDSS pathways

Flexible VDSS pathways


  • Certificate II in Automotive Vocational Preparation^

Agriculture and Environment

  • Certificate II in Agriculture^
  • Certificate II in Horticulture^
  • Certificate II in Conservation and Ecosystem Management^
  • Certificate II in Animal Care^

Hair and Beauty

  • Certificate II in Retail Cosmetics
  • Certificate II in Salon Assistant
  • Certificate III in Beauty Services^
  • Certificate III in Make-Up^

Creative Industries

  • Certificate II in Creative Industries
  • Certificate III in Screen and Media*^
  • Certificate II in Apparel, Fashion and Textiles (previously Certificate II in Applied Fashion Design and Technology)^
  • Certificate II in Music
  • Certificate III in Music (Performance)*^
  • Certificate III in Music (Sound Production)*^
  • Certificate III in Dance*^

Sport and Recreation

  • Certificate II in Outdoor Recreation
  • Certificate II in Sport and Recreation
  • Certificate III in Sport, Aquatics and Recreation (previously Certificate III in Sport and Recreation) *^


  • Certificate II in Workplace Skills
  • Certificate III in Business*^
  • Certificate II in Small Business (Operations/Innovation)^

* Scored pathway available

^ Unit 3 and 4 sequence available



Get VET website

The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority’s Get VETExternal Link website details a wide range of available education and training opportunities through VET. Schools can access this to ensure they are aware of all the experience and opportunities students can gain through VET. Students can also use the site to make informed decisions for their future.

Targeted VET funding

Government schools

VET programs in government schools are primarily funded through the core student learning component of the Student Resource Package (SRP). To support the higher cost of provision in this area, government schools are also provided with targeted VET funding based on a 6-band model. Schools will also receive VET materials funding, based on a 2-band model and eligible schools will also receive the small-scale adjustment.

The SRP guide provides an estimate of the component of the SRP that should contribute to the provision of VET programs, as well as outlining how schools may use their targeted VET funding.

For information on the 2023 revised VET funding model visit: Reference 143.

Non-government schools

Non-government schools with queries on funding for VET programs should contact either:

VET Materials

Communication with parents, guardians and carers

To support your communication about VET materials funding, sample content has been prepared – Content to inform your school community (DOCX)External Link (staff login required).

Reviewed 28 March 2023