Queensland high school students are continuing to embrace real-world skills training with almost two-thirds of the graduating class of 2020 finishing with an industry-recognised qualification.
In 2020, about 64 per cent of the state’s 49,700 graduating Year 12s achieved a vocational qualification, opening up their post-school options and accelerating their careers.
Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) chief executive officer Chris Mountford said National Skills Week (August 23-29) highlighted the valuable role of skills training in building the capacity and capability of the nation’s current and future workforce.
“The pandemic has highlighted the critical importance of having skilled and adaptable workers and vocational qualification pathways that enable young Queenslanders to upskill and re-skill in areas of employment demand,” he said.
In Queensland’s independent schooling sector, 152 schools offer vocational education and training (VET) to students through providers such as TAFE Queensland, Private Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), school RTOs and/or school-based traineeships or apprenticeships (SATs).
Mountford said Queensland had a strong record of VET participation in schools.
“In addition to specific VET pathways, Queensland senior students can also include vocational qualifications in their subject loads. Under Queensland’s new senior schooling and tertiary entrance system, Year 12s can count a completed Certificate III or higher towards their Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) for university entry,” he said.
“In 2020, 11.4 per cent of Queensland’s first cohort of ATAR-eligible Year 12s completed four general subjects and one eligible VET qualification.”
According to the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre 2020 ATAR Report, the most frequently completed VET qualifications at each level included the Certificate III in Fitness, Certificate IV in Crime and Justice Studies and the Diploma of Business.
Students can also undertake school-based apprenticeships and traineeships (SATs) as part of their secondary schooling, allowing them to earn a wage, train with an employer and work towards a nationally accredited qualification.
In 2020, about 12 per cent of Queensland Year 12s were completing a SAT or had completed a traineeship by the end of their studies.
Mountford said in 2020, 1,415 independent school students commenced an SAT, with funded SAT commencements in Semester 1, 2021 up 30 per cent.
“Some of the most popular qualifications include the Certificate III in fields such as Electrotechnology Electrician, Early Childhood Education and Care, Business and Carpentry.”