Integrating VET into the senior school: Research findings on linear and non-linear pathways as an incomplete policy objective

Year: 2005

Author: Stanley, Gordon, Crump, Stephen

Type of paper: Refereed paper

This paper outlines the incorporation of vocational education and training courses into a senior secondary certificate of education, the NSW Higher School Certificate. New VET courses were introduced in 2000 to broaden the offerings available in post-compulsory schooling and to cater better for the vocational needs of students not primarily focused on university study, without excluding the latter option. This paper reviews the progressive implementation of dual recognition of VET courses in the HSC and growth in participation through quantitative and qualitative data using official statistics to review enrolments and matriculation outcomes for students in the new VET courses. Qualitative data was collected throughout a three year ARC Linkage project on vocational education and equity in senior schooling, across a matrix of eight government schools in NSW. The paper presents new analysis of the data arguing that these reforms to curriculum and reporting of the HSC has led to a more integrated approach and a better understanding of linear and non-linear VET and career pathways. The opportunity to have the outcomes from VET courses count towards university entrance was an important policy objective, but it remains unclear whether students take full advantage of this option.