Secondary school students

If you’re still in high school the TAFE options for you include:

  • VET Delivered to Secondary Students (VETDSS), where you attend TAFE weekly while still studying at high school
  • Leaving high school to study your English and maths equivalent for further study
  • Leaving high school with your WACE and entering into a VET study pathway
  • Leaving high school to enter into an apprenticeship or traineeship

VET Delivery to Secondary Students (VETDSS) courses

VETDSS courses are delivered at some high schools and at SM TAFE campuses to year 11 and 12 high school students. Applications and enrolment are handled by the school's VET Coordinator.

Find out more about VETDSS study on our study types page. 

Information for enrolled VETDSS students

If you have applied and enrolled in a VETdSS course with us via your school's VET Coordinator, you will need to take note of the following.

Secondary school students undertaking VETdSS courses are exempt from tuition, resource and enrolment fees. However, your chosen course may require you to purchase a uniform, protective equipment, textbooks or trade equipment/tools. These items will be for you to keep and use after you have graduated and will be industry relevant equipment. Your course information in the course guide details the equipment and uniform items required for your first day.  

You will be responsible for ensuring that you attend all scheduled classes. Attendance will be recorded and any absences reported to your school. The VET coordinator at your school will be contacted to discuss the appropriateness of your continuing study if you repeatedly do not attend. You will be required to inform your lecturer in advance if you will be absent from any scheduled classes. Poor attendance may mean withdrawal from the course.

You are not required to wear your school uniform to VETDSS classes but you will be expected to dress appropriately. Where special or protective clothing and/or footwear is required, it must be worn without exception as this is not only preparing you for dress for the industry, but in the cases of workshops, is a safety requirement. If you forget to bring your protective clothing you will be excluded from the campus workshops/classes and your school informed.

Life after VETDSS

Your efforts in vocational training at TAFE while studying high school will pay off once you finish or decide to leave school - your nationally accredited units in your VET DSS course provide an excellent starting point to a multitude of study pathways at SM TAFE.

Where will you go? Find your VET DSS course listed on the pathways page guides.


Life after high school

You have a range of options after you finish high school:

  • If you completed a pre-apprenticeship program at school then you are ready to start a full-time paid apprenticeship as soon as you leave school
  • You can choose to continue your industry studies at TAFE - you’ll have the option to study full-time, part-time, online or even via a traineeship or other workplace delivery
  • Commence an apprenticeship or traineeship
  • Progress into a higher level qualification in the same industry area as you’ve been studying, or try a different industry area​
  • Use the skills you’ve already gained at TAFE to obtain employment and then continue to upgrade your skills through part-time study​
  • Complete additional TAFE qualifications to help you gain entry to University

The good news is that completing a TAFE qualification at school will give you a very good chance of gaining entry into the course you are interested in!​ 

Some of our courses do have specific industry pre-requisites so it's a always a good idea to speak with our Student Prospect Advisors to find out about the industry pre-requisites for your chosen course.

Want to leave school to go to TAFE?

If you're looking for courses to help you to continue studying, or would like to bolster your English or numeracy skills for work, visit our Foundation Skills, Access and English form to see a list of courses that may help you bridge the gap between school and work or post-school education.

If you have the English and mathematics required, you can go straight into a VET study pathway as soon as you are no longer enrolled in your high school, following the application process for your preferred course and then becoming enrolled. You will need to complete paperwork with your school to prove you have the permission to leave school to pursue study with us. 

If you are leaving before you turn 18 years of age, you'll also need to register your parent/guardian’s contact details with us, so that we can provide the necessary duty of care to you.

Plan your next step with a Prospective Student Advisor

They can help you match your interests and current skills to future jobs and growing industries. Ask about apprenticeship or traineeships, or for course application and job-seeking advice. They even help with applications to TAFE.