Deputy Premier and Minister for Skills, Small Business and Regional Development, John Barilaro, said that Vocational Education and Training (VET) is an ideal pathway for HSC students with a burning desire to be their own boss.

“VET is a fantastic first option for young people who want to get on that fast track to owning and operating their own business,” Mr Barilaro said.

NSW apprenticeship approvals have soared by 17 per cent over the last year with traineeships also up by 13 per cent and according to the Department of Industry data; there are now more apprentice jobs than at any time since 2010.


“Hardly a day goes by without a story on the rising demand for trade skills, and with record levels of infrastructure investment and the housing boom in NSW there’s never been a better time to learn a trade,” Mr Barilaro added.

fiji-voc“Apprenticeships are a great way to get paid to work and learn that invaluable qualification – and all NSW apprentices and most trainees are eligible for a subsidy under the Government’s Smart and Skilled program.”

Students can learn skills for a trade but also create and operate various types of small businesses including cafes and restaurants, gyms, aged care facilities and digital-based enterprises.

Jacquie Forrest, of Woonoona, gained a Certificate 3 in Painting and Decorating as a mature age student and recalled being immensely proud when named 2006 Apprentice of the Year.

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She is now a member of the Supporting and Linking Tradeswomen (SALT) group.

“I find my trade very rewarding and encourage other women to consider non-traditional trades,” Ms Forrest said. Mr Barilaro added that TAFE NSW is a first option for HSC students now assessing their ATAR scores, offering everything from Statements of Attainments to Degrees.

A new Bachelor of Business is also being launched in early 2017. “To study a TAFE degree students do not need an ATAR and TAFE can also be a great pathway to university,” he added. Courtney Hardwick left school in year 10 unsure of her career path. After studying two Certificate 4s and a TAFE Diploma, and now has a place at Newcastle University.