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This is how to apply for TAFE 2024

TAFE Colleges open  for 2024 applications on 1 September. Applications close on Friday 3 November.

If you think a VET pathway could lead you to an interesting future, go HERE to find an application form.

Free Course Advice

If you would like to go to TAFE, but you are not certain exactly what to do, get along and see one to the brilliant counsellors at your nearest Jobs and Skills Centre. You can do aptitude tests, check your abilities, chat about what is possible and find the best path for you.

If you want to try to win an apprenticeship, they will tell you how to apply and give you interview tips. 

What level will you go into?

Certificate I delivers entry level skills that prepare you for further study. All Certificate I courses deliver literacy, numeracy, computing and life skills. Some provide additional skills, like basic trade skills and occupational health and safety. Certificate I is great for those without OLNA or WACE.

Certificate II is like year 10 in academic difficulty. Some Cert II courses are general, like the Certificate of General Education for Adults and some are more specific like Security Operations and in Health Support Services.

Certificate III is like year 11 academic difficulty. You do a Certificate III to become:

  • Photo courtesy of Directions Training
    A carpenter (Certificate III Carpentry)
  • An electrician (Certificate III Electrotechnology Electrician)
  • A farmhand (Certificate III Agriculture)
  • A techie (Certificate III Information Technology)

Certificate IV is designed to be a more mature qualification for those with experience or previous qualifications:

  • A carpenter would go on to do a Cert IV in Building and Construction
  • An electrician would maybe specialise in a Cert IV in Electrical Instrumentation
  • A farm manager could do a Cert IV in Agriculture to become a more effective farmer
  • A techie may specialise in Cert IV in Cyber Security

Pathways to VET for those without their WACE or OLNA

The Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment  (OLNA) is designed to enable students to successfully meet the Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) literacy and numeracy requirements.

There are several alternative other pathways to TAFE for school students who do not achieve an OLNA.

  • Certificate I entry level with no qualifications required.
  • Vocational pathway (VET in schools): school students who complete a vocational course while at school can rely on their school qualification to demonstrate their literacy and numeracy skills i.e. students can achieve an OLNA or a Certificate I, II or III to gain entry to a TAFE course.
  • TAFE Admissions testing: School students may be eligible to register for TAFE Admissions testing if they have not sat the OLNA at school within the six months preceding TAFE Admissions testing and if they have not exhausted their maximum six attempts at the OLNA while of compulsory school age.
  • Alternative assessment: students can be referred to the learning area at their preferred TAFE college for a Learning Area Assessment.
    • Students can enrol at any Certificate I level, as there are no entry requirements, and
    • Students can enrol into one of the foundation skills and equity courses.

For more information, download the TAFE admissions guide for entry to full time courses for entry to full time courses.

  • Subscribe to In Focus Careers News to find career opportunities in Western Australia

Subscribe to In Focus Careers News
August 2023 Issue

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        It’s Career Expo Time – Don’t sign anything! 3 tips for the Career Expo

        Tip 1: Don’t sign ANYTHING

        Many visitors sign up for thousands of dollars worth of training based on a noisy 5 minute discussion in the crowded Convention Centre.

        The Careers Expo is great fun. There are lots of giveaways. There are glossy brochures and high-tech displays.

        People on the stands are friendly and helpful.

        Of course they are!

        You aren’t going to buy something from someone grumpy. 

        The biggest, most professional-looking displays, closest to the entry, with the loud music and happy staff, are investing a lot to get you to sign up for their products.

        Tip 2:

        Don’t wait until you get to the Expo.  Find the exhibitors on the Expo Page before you go.

        If you are interested in having a Gap Year check out which exhibitors will have information that will interest you.

        If you are interested in Trades, check out the ones that will be of most interest.

        Make the decision about which ones to visit and what you want to know. 

        You could also ask….

        • How much will it cost?

        • How long the course will take.

        • What are the entry requirements.

        • How long it takes their graduates to get a job in the industry?

        • What sort of work do graduates get?

        Tip 3 See your career advisor after the expo

        If you don’t know a career advisor, go to a Jobs and Skills Centre and talk with them or make an appointment with a uni-based career practitioner. It’s FREE. The Jobs and Skills Centres are usually based in TAFE colleges, they also have information about unis.

        Each month In Focus Careers News helps West Australian teachers to guide their students towards career opportunities. You can subscribe HERE.

        Bev Johnson Director, In Focus Careers

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        Work smarter ideas to kick start your 2023 school career program

        Career educators are doing their planning for 2023. These ideas may help as you draft your schedule around exams, and other school priorities while balancing your workload. 

        University Opportunities

        West Australian Universities are getting more competitive in their efforts to engage with schools.

        It is easiest to engage with the university that is closest to your school.  Undergraduate degrees are pretty similar across universities so it may be the most successful strategy to get the university closest to you and get them to negotiate a career support strategy for the year.


        • Career Advisor Visits – University career advisors will come to your school expos and will give presentations to year groups. You can book them in now for 2023.
        • Subject experts – Subject experts will come and deliver customised classes to large groups. Murdoch runs seminars, like STEM, creative arts and HASS workshops. You can book them now. 
        • Mentors – Uni students who are building their leadership experience can be matched as mentors for students at your school. You can ask your year 11 and 12s if they are interested and ask your local uni if they will do this in 2023. 
        • Career Cafe – Uni students can be provided by unis faculties. They are stationed at a table and give 15-minute briefings to students and their family members at a Career Cafe. You can schedule this for 2023.
        • Uni-based events: All unis have open days, information evenings, A Day as a Uni Student, Portfolio Application, and campus tour events. They are posted on the uni sites. Give the information to your senior students and ATAR teachers. Make time to put this information into staff notices, senior school notices and information that you send to parents. 

        VET Opportunities

        VET delivered in secondary schools

        This useful tool provides schools with prompts and questions to help research and choose suitable RTOs to enter into auspicing arrangements with to deliver VET qualifications to their students.

        Year 9 Taster Program

        This was the big initiative for 2022.  Many schools have found the benefit of showing Year 9s how their study has practical applicability in the workplace.

        Year 9 is the perfect time to introduce students to the world of work and to help them to expand their worldviews. Read about what others are doing at the Year 9 Taster Program HERE. 

        Year 9 Career Taster program grants can support your priorities. 

        Building Trades

        • Construction Futures Centre You can’t go past the Construction Futures Centre for state-of-the-art career experiences. You can book an excursion online for students at any level. They have open days scheduled throughout the year. 
        • Brick and Block Careers You can have a school-based Brick and Block trade try-a-trade or go to a special training centre to learn more about this high-paid career. 
        • If you have ideas or if you are looking for ideas about specific building trades get more information from the Construction Futures Centre

        Agriculture Careers

        • Muresk Take the kids on a tour of Muresk. It is always good to go in spring to see the lambs and calves and the canola blooming. If you are interested in any particular pathway, tell them what you are interested in when you are booking so that they can get industry experts to talk to your school group. 

        Jobs and Skills Centres

        Jobs and Skills Centres will provide information about any career path in vocational or university courses. Some specialise in helping migrants or Aboriginal students. They provide career tests, help with resumes and interview skills and know about work opportunities. 

        Opportunities with Industry

        Work in partnership with one of the organisations that have been set up to help schools.

        The KIC Education Development Program (EDP) was created to improve this understanding, and to create pathways for the students in the region’s high schools to enter the industrial workforce.

        • Industry Training Hub Armadale
        • Industry Training Hub Wanneroo
        • Rotary Find your local Rotary Club and ask them for guest speakers, tours of businesses, work experience and mock interviews. 
        • Industry Training Councils  Every industry is represented by one of the eight Industry Training Councils. If you can’t find an expert to advise a student on an industry, ring a training council for information. 
        • ASK: Just ask for support. I have never found an industry unwilling to help a school student to find a career path. If you don’t know who to call email me and I will ask the In Focus Careers network for help. 

        School Community

        Start with easy supporters. 

        • School alumni – Former students are passionate about helping kids at their school. Don’t just go for people who have already started their own businesses, or succeeded in their careers. Students who have dropped out of TAFE or uni, students who have left apprenticeships, and students who are at uni and doing well, all provide real stories that your students can relate to. 
        • Canteen workers and P&C volunteers. Ask those who are already engaged with the school through the P&C, canteen or sports or spiritual endeavours to support your careers program.  

        Work Experience

        A great work experience coordinator will have a pool of precious employers who they support and nurture for ongoing work experience opportunities. They coach, beg and threaten students to ensure they appreciate those employers!! They publicly thank the employers for their support. 

        If you don’t have a pool of employer supporters, contact your school community and industry contacts (above) for help. 

        Annual Career Planner


        I put out the draft 2023 Career Planner with the last In Focus Careers Newsletter for 2022. If you didn’t get it, let me know. 

        An updated version will be sent out with the February issue of In Focus Careers News which will be waiting for you when you get back from your Christmas break. 


        Subscribe to the only careers newsletter in Australia, designed to provide comprehensive monthly coverage of local trends, ideas and new approaches to the career challenges for school students.

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        Don’t get on the uni bus unless you know where it’s going

        At a recent university seminar for career practitioners, one speaker complained about West Australian school leavers not going to uni. 

        No wonder they aren’t going.

        • There is such a critical skills shortage happening that employers are ringing schools asking if there are any suitable students for great jobs with career prospects. Students can walk out of school and straight into a job with an okay salary.
        • The State Government has been pouring money into vocational education and training. There is a bigger variety of courses, they are cheap or free and many give credits to uni degrees.
        • Uni courses are expensive.

        Why would you go to uni?

        Those who are not sure what uni to go to, or what they want to study, still get onto the uni bus because:

        • Their friends are going to uni and they don’t want to be left behind.
        • The uni bus came for them while they were at school so they bought a ticket.
        • Their parents told them to get on the bus.
        • Teachers knew about the uni bus and talked about their experiences in a positive way.

        Just because the university bus is ready to pick you up from school, doesn’t mean that you have to get on.   Maybe you want to get on the backpacker bus. Or the Harvest Trail bus. Or the VET bus. Or the job bus. 

        Very few students are 100% sure of the university course that they want to take. About 30% realize that the course they are studying is not the right one for them, and they change direction. Others drop out altogether and end up feeling like they have failed. 

        Check out Leaving  Year 12? These gap year ideas may interest you

        If you are not sure what to do at uni, DON’T GET ON THE BUS.

        The uni bus fare is expensive

        Buying a uni course is not like buying a car. You can’t sell your used course to the next buyer who comes along.

        • If you get off the bus before you get to the destination YOU STILL HAVE TO PAY. 
        • If you fail, YOU STILL HAVE TO PAY.
        • If you change courses, YOU STILL HAVE TO PAY for the part of the course you used before you changed direction.

        You can estimate how much your degree is going to cost you by using the UWA fees calculator 

        Defer uni for a year

        If you are not sure what course you want to do, you can still apply for a place at uni and, once you get offered a place, defer taking it up for a year.  

        After working for a year you will have a clearer idea about which units to enrol in.

        Check out the ideas in Going to Uni in WA – Mind Map for Year 12

        Vocational Courses

        Vocational Education and Training has been the winner in the post-school revolution in Western Australia.  In an effort to support industry, the West Australian government has been introducing short courses, skills sets, and employer subsidies. Industry has been partnering with training providers to deliver skills on the worksite.  There are hundreds of courses available. If you are unsure what course you might like to do or how to enrol find a Jobs and Skills Centre  near you for careers guidance. It’s free. They can tell you what courses will give you credits at uni. 

        You HAVE to do post-school learning

        You can’t just leave school and never study again.  Okay, you can, but poverty could be your lifelong friend.

        • People who have post-school qualifications earn more money and have more life choices.
        • The world isn’t going to stop changing just because you aren’t learning new skills.

        You need to keep up with changes in the world of work either by learning on the job, or online or in a classroom. Getting tickets, qualifications, and recognition for your learning will help you to have choices and steer your career in different directions. The skills you gain may even get you credits in some units at uni. 

        Take Your Time

        More haste less speed is an old saying.

        It means, don’t rush into things. 

        If you are not sure what direction to take, slow down and look around. There are many directions to take as you leave school. Uni is just one of them. 

        To keep up to date with career news for West Australians, subscribe to In Focus Careers

        Bev Johnson Director, In Focus Careers
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        Employers want to know what certificates students have

        Do you have any certificates?

        This article by Kareena Waters from Industry OneCARD explains her solution to a problem students are experiencing when they apply for jobs.

        Students often don’t understand the difference between a VET Delivered in Schools course, and their non VET school curriculum. When potential employers ask them if they have any certificates, the reply is often “No” or “I don’t know”.

        Case Study

        A construction/mining employer recently decided to engage a couple of school graduates for a Traineeship in Administration.

        After screening resumes and interviews, they finally choose a couple of very suitable candidates, only to find that when the  Australian Apprentice Support Network (AASN) signed up the candidate into a traineeship, one already had a Cert III Business Admin, and the other had completed most of the core units.

        There was no record of these achievements on their resumes, or any reference to the training during the interview or understand the significance and the value of ‘That training we did at school’.

        The Gap

        There is a gap between what students do, and their understanding of how their work contributes to their resume.

        Employer’s ability to engage a student on a traineeship is impacted by what VET in Schools certificates a student has commenced or obtained.

        Many students have been issued a Unique Student Identifier (USI) but have no idea what it is, or how to access their portal. 

        Even though Nationally Accredited Units will be recorded on the student’s USI most employers:

        • want to view and save the certificates, not the USI transcript, and
        • want to know about any inductions, safety and other inhouse training from students work placement, and or part times jobs, which won’t appear on a USI.
        Industry OneCARD

        How Industry OneCARD Helps

        The OneCARD ™ provides a platform to help employers manage the administrative nightmare of employees’ training and licence records.

        Kareena Waters Founder of Industry OneCARD ™ and her team want to provide students, trainees and apprentices a complimentary Industry OneCARD™, to help keep all their certificates, induction records and achievements in one place, and to support the cultivation of good habits around the management of their valuable achievements both accredited and non-accredited.

        We have built some great features into Industry OneCARD™  that help when someone is applying for positions, that ensure all records are presented to a recruiter, in a high professional standard.

        For more information please contact: or Phone 0417760224

        Be the first to know about West Australian Career Opportunities

        Subscribe to InFocus Careers News

        Evangelist for insanely great careers education in Western Australia
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        2021 Training Award Finalists Announced

        The WA Government has announced the 2021 Training Award Finalists.

        These are the individual finalists as announced by Minister Sue Ellery and their chosen pathways.

        Apprentice of the Year Finalists

        Hayden Carvell, Mundaring: Light Vehicle Automotive

        red and white vintage car parked in front of blue and white food stall
        Photo by cottonbro on

        Some of Hayden’s fondest childhood memories involve holding a torch as his dad, grandad and pop tinkered under the bonnet of a car. The family connection and the ability to bring something broken back to life is what led the apprentice mechanic to study a Certificate III in Light Vehicle Automotive with North Metropolitan TAFE.

        With on-the-job learning at mycar, Hayden has helped induct and teach new team members about safety, work practices and methods of fixing cars, and recognises that technology is moving quickly.

        Joann Knight, Brabham: Heavy Mobile Equipment

        Visiting Kalgoorlie’s ‘super pit’ as a child and seeing all of the machines in action was enough to convince Joann of a career in mechanics. She followed her childhood dream, completing an apprenticeship as a mobile plant mechanic and landed a job with BHP.

        Joann was open to every opportunity as she completed the Automotive Technician (Heavy Mobile Equipment) course through the Westrac Institute, and wanted to show that women can work and achieve their dreams in a male-dominated industry.

        Stacey-Lee Boothman, Cooloongup: Engineering – Mechanical Fitter

        Mechanical Fitter

        Stacey-Lee always loved pulling things apart to see how they worked, so much so that at the age of 12 she started building bicycles. After years working in painting, mining, hospitality management and government administration, Stacey Lee’s determination to pursue a career she is truly passionate about has come full circle, completing a Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade (Mechanical Fitter) through South Metropolitan TAFE, and she is just shy of achieving her Diploma in Engineering.

        Stacey-Lee has had to battle health issues throughout her studies, making her achievement of winning South Metropolitan TAFE’s Apprentice of the Year 2020 even more special.

        Christian Ferrone, Bayswater: Aircraft Maintenance Engineer

        Certificate IV Aeroskills – Photo courtesy TAFE Gippsland

        A curiosity for how things work and a love of aeroplanes led Christian to pursue a career as a Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer. Now employed by ExecuJet MRO Services Australia – where he completed his apprenticeship – the course taught him how to safely maintain gas turbine and propeller driven fixed wing aircraft.

        Christian completed the Diploma in Aeroskills (Mechanical) with a 95 per cent course average and was in the first cohort of WA apprentices through RTO Aviation Australia.

        Now a mentor for other apprentices coming through, Christian knows teamwork is an essential part of the aviation industry.

        WA Trainee of the Year Finalists

        Bonnie Barber, Bridgetown: Administration

        Bonnie knew she wanted to join the mining industry when she was in her final year of school, but she did not know which career pathway to follow with the many options available in the sector.

        relaxed female secretary with feet on table in workplace
        Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

        An administration traineeship through Combined Team Services and working with Talison Lithium gave her the perfect mix of support and resources, and she found the ability to study and work a full-time job attractive.

        Bonnie says the Certificate IV in Business qualification and hands-on experience has set her up for a fulfilling career working in a field she is passionate about, and she has now accepted a new position as Human Resource Administration Assistant working in her dream professional field.

        Amber Ugle-Hayward, Karrinyup: Government

        Wanting to pursue a career that was meaningful, challenging and would make a positive impact on the lives of many Western Australians, Amber applied for the Public Sector Commission’s Aboriginal Traineeship Program, knowing it would give her a ‘foot in the door’ to government. Amber has made the most of her placement with the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage, gaining practical knowledge while completing a Certificate III in Government through Aspire Performance Training.

        Throughout the traineeship, Amber has proactively sought opportunities to further her career and expand networks, establishing a reputation as a highly competent team member who consistently displays leadership, collaboration, respect and integrity.

        Amber says the experience has allowed her to develop her confidence and communication skills to raise awareness of Aboriginal culture within the State Government, and directly influence the department’s internal policies.

        Vikki Doecke, Kelmscott: Leadership and Management

        Passionate about food and hospitality since becoming a chef in her early 20s, Vikki wanted to stay in the industry but broaden her career. Initially afraid to make the change into management, Vikki says she finally started living life on her terms.

        A Certificate IV in Leadership and Management through Stanborough Wemyss Contracting was the perfect training alongside her Assistant Village Manager role with Sodexo, which provides catering and managing services at mine sites.

        The course developed Vikki’s leadership skills so much so that she is now Village Manager of the Wintamarra site and thoroughly enjoys applying all of her past experience with her newly acquired skills.

        WA Vocational Student of the Year finalists

        Maxine Turner, Fremantle: Community Services

        SCHOLARSHIP IN COMMUNITY SERVICES | Admission | Skilled Visa | Sponsored  Jobs | RPL

        Volunteering throughout India and Vietnam helping disadvantaged children and families guided Maxine towards her chosen career. Completing a Diploma of Community Services through North Metropolitan TAFE led Maxine to gaining full-time work at the Department of Communities, Child Protection and Family Support, following a successful work experience stint.

        Maxine now gets to carry out her passion for helping those in need on a daily basis, using the skills and knowledge obtained through her course in her role as a residential worker.

        Nerine Boulter, White Gum Valley: Aquaculture

        The first investment fund for sustainable fish farming | Virgin

        Returning to study as a mature age student gave Nerine a passion for learning that she had not experienced before. Her enthusiasm for sustainable aquaculture has been ignited during completion of the Diploma of Aquaculture at South Metropolitan TAFE, where has excelled, nominated for the South Metropolitan TAFE’s Vocational Student of the Year in 2019 and 2020.

        Nerine hopes to build her own sustainable, environmentally friendly business, growing and harvesting native seaweed for use in health foods, animal feed, cosmetics, bio-plastics and bio-fuel.

        Meg Maroni, Albany: Information Technology

        PC Technician | Definition, Job description, salary & Jobs!

        Achieving a better future for her local community by implementing and demonstrating digital technologies led Meg to complete her Certificate IV in Information Technology at South Regional TAFE.

        Now employed in the industry as the Technical Support Officer for Little Grove Primary School, Meg applies the skills gained in her studies every day to the upkeep of the school’s physical and networking digital infrastructure, and maintenance of implemented systems and software. Meg also assists teaching staff to design class exercises and assignments to fulfil their digital curriculum, and is now tutoring a student carrying out the same course she successfully completed.

        Zoe Tucker, Bayswater: Landscape Design

        Twenty years after leaving school, Zoe finally feels like she has found her pathway. Finding traditional work roles not conducive to family life, the single mother of three took the plunge towards a new career and followed her passion, studying a Certificate IV in Landscape Design – a perfect fit for a creative person with a love of plants and nature and background in architecture.

        Zoe has not looked back, winning South Metropolitan TAFE’s Vocational Student of the Year 2020 and relishing the opportunity to create greener spaces.

        WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander of the Year 2021 finalists

        Kevin Wilson, Victoria Park: Graphic Design

        Growing up as a Wongai man from the Goldfields region, Kevin has had an interest in art for as long as he can remember. After a few years and a few too many run-ins with police, he decided he could not keep going down that path, so he signed up for an apprenticeship in print finishing at North Metropolitan TAFE, which was just the beginning of his TAFE journey. After completing his Diploma in Graphic Design, he continued on to the Advanced Diploma, becoming more confident in himself, his work and how he speaks about it. Kevin says he feels like he has found his calling in life, and since finishing has gone on to co-found Nani Creative, a graphic design company specialising in design for projects promoting Aboriginal tourism.

        Grant Syron, Como: Maritime Operations

        Sailing the seas may not be for everyone, but for Grant, pursuing a maritime career was an opportunity to see the world, meet new people and have a new challenge every day. From growing up in a Sydney housing commission, Grant says he had wonderful role models in his hard-working parents, who showed him anything is achievable if you put your mind to it.

        After completing the Diploma of Maritime Operations (Watchkeeper Deck) through South Metropolitan TAFE, Grant has gone on to become a second officer, with his qualification allowing him to travel the world working on any ship.

        Grant’s hard work and commitment is an inspiration to the whole community, and he has ambitions to take his studies and career development even further, with his long-term goal of becoming a Master Mariner.

        Keira Gentle, Ridgewood: Fashion Design and Merchandising

        From a young age Keira wanted to design clothes, and after a massive life turn around she decided to take a leap and enrol in a Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Merchandising at North Metropolitan TAFE. Juggling full-time study with being mum to her daughter, Keira said she has not looked back and is living her dream daily, with the opportunity to explore her creative side and the routine of study giving her the strength to manage her time and provide balance in her life.

        Most importantly, studying the course has sparked her creative side that was always there but needed to be developed and nurtured.

        Keira says that connection to creativity has been life changing, and she can now see a future where she can work in an industry that she loves, and has all the skills needed to develop a satisfying and challenging career.

        Sterling Winmar, Orelia: Engineering – Industrial Electrician

        Losing his father at the age of 13, Sterling did not know what he wanted to do with his life, but had the mental push to make his dad proud. Making the most of every opportunity that came his way, he jumped at the chance to take up an apprenticeship through South Metropolitan TAFE and the National Energy Technician Training Scheme (NETTS), completing a Certificate III in Engineering – Industrial Electrician.

        His journey in the oil and gas sector has given him valuable life skills as well as experience in a thriving sector. Sterling has been a strong ambassador and role model, assisting younger apprentices and promoting the NETTS program by public speaking at schools.

        WA School-based Apprentice of the Year finalists

        Courtney Short, Ellenbrook: Commercial Cookery

        Chef apprentice

        Preparing meals with and for her family has always brought great joy to Courtney, so it seemed a natural fit to pursue her love of cooking at the age of 15, commencing a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery.

        Successfully juggling her school work at Mercy College with an apprenticeship through North Metropolitan TAFE, Courtney says the knowledge and skills she has already developed by working alongside chefs at Pan Pacific Hotel (through Hospitality Group Training) are essential for working in the industry.

        Now aged 17, Courtney is well on her way to achieving her dream of becoming a chef and she is so pleased she followed a VET pathway.

        Taj Morris, Glenfield: Commercial Cookery

        Working as a waiter in his nan and pop’s family restaurant gave Taj his first taste of the hospitality industry. With his mother and two uncles all chefs, cooking is in his blood, so it was an easy choice for Taj to do a school-based apprenticeship, taking on a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery at Geraldton’s Central Regional TAFE.

        Taj says with a chef qualification he knows he will have many future employment opportunities and feels that the chance to learn practical industry skills while still studying at Nagle Catholic College has prepared him well.

        Samantha Winter, Lower Chittering: Government

        In Year 10 and unsure of what career pathway to pursue, Samantha heard about the Certificate II in Government through the Public Sector Commission’s school-based traineeship. Seeing it as a great opportunity, Samantha started the traineeship through Aspire Performance Training.

        Juggling Year 12 at Bullsbrook College three days a week, a large portion of Samantha’s training is done on the job at Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.

        Samantha sees it as a major head start in the workforce, broadening her knowledge, making connections and gaining independence and confidence.

        WA Cultural Diversity Training Award 2021 finalists

        Marli Nicholls, Carlisle: English as an Additional Language

        Adult Migrant English Program

        With knowledge and experience already gained from her home country Brazil, Marli knew that the language barrier was the only thing in her way when relocating to Perth with her Australian husband and their children. 

        Marli decided to take English classes to start her new life here, enrolling in Certificate IV EAL (English as an Additional Language) at South Metropolitan TAFE, to help her work, connect with people, make new friends and participate in the local community and her children’s school.

        Marli says her course has offered her so much more than language skills, gaining self-confidence, time management, teamwork, problem-solving and leadership skills.

        Agnes Toluwade, Leeming: Mental Health

        260 million people and less than 1000 psychiatrists, Indonesia's mental  health worker shortage

        Migrating from Nigeria in 2015, the first time Agnes heard about the suicide of a teenager on the news, she was jolted. Determined to take action and contribute to her new home country, Agnes decided to study a Certificate IV in Mental Health and be part of the solution for a mentally healthy Australia.

        The course at North Metropolitan TAFE has helped her understand the many issues that impact on mental health and the ways to support people’s recovery.

        Agnes has crossed several barriers to pursue her study and hopes that others in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities will see that studying at TAFE offers many opportunities.

        WA International Student of the Year finalists

        Johanna Faber, Yokine: Travel and Tourism

        Johanna has always been passionate about travelling, so when she came to Australia from Germany in 2017 and fell in love with the country, she decided she wanted a career in travel and tourism.

        By studying in a different country, Johanna felt it would offer her the opportunity of experiencing travel and tourism first-hand, taking part in a different culture and learning a new language while completing her course – a Diploma of Travel and Tourism Management at North Metropolitan TAFE.

        Studying allowed Johanna to gain confidence in communicating in English while learning the many facets of the industry, and she was able to land a job as a travel consultant. While COVID-19 forced the closure of the office, it has not deterred Johanna from working in the industry.

        Shalynn Buss, Lathlain: Event Management

        Back in Canada in 2014, Shalynn was studying Business Administration to become a lawyer. During her studies she took an introduction to events elective course, which sparked her love of creating something out of nothing that brought people together. Fast forward to July 2020, she finally took the plunge into formalising her passion, starting a Diploma of Event Management through South Metropolitan TAFE.

        Experience has shown Shalynn she learns best in vocational settings, continually challenging herself and demonstrating her skills and abilities in real-world scenarios, which lead to winning South Metropolitan TAFE’s International Student of the Year 2020.

        Shalynn has been putting her industry knowledge into practice, working for a small wedding and event business, and she hopes to one day own her own wedding planning business.

        Aurelie Jammes, Scarborough: Event Management

        Adelaide Convention Centre | ULA Group

        With a Masters degree in Events, Tourism and Hospitality and experience working around the world, French native Aurelie was employed at a winery in the Swan Valley when she realised she enjoyed in-house events. When COVID-19 hit she did not let losing her job get in the way, taking the opportunity to enhance her knowledge about this part of the industry by starting a Diploma of Event Management at South Metropolitan TAFE.

        Aurelie says it was the best decision she ever made, now working as a hotel event operations supervisor. Aurelie is also an ambassador for Go Study, sharing her challenges and achievements as in international student in Australia.

        Congratulations on getting to the finals. Good Luck

        Bev Johnson

        Posted on 3 Comments

        Alternative Pathways to University

        ATAR is just ONE Way into Uni

        Locker DoorsThere are lots of doors that can lead to a university degree and if you have had one gap year (travelling, working, watching Netflix) it is even easier to go through those doors at some universities.

        The alternative pathways are FREE at all universities although quotas have been introduced so numbers are restricted. The government is trying to introduce fees for these pathways and universities are protesting about that so they are largely free at the moment.

        Portfolio Entry (Experienced Based Entry)

        This pathway is available at a number of WA universities. Demonstrated proof of your abilities via a portfolio of evidence of your academic achievements and abilities, or demonstrated proof of your ability. Portfolio entry is not just restricted to the creative arts.

        Curtin University


        Step UP – You may be eligible for Step Up if you meet socio-economic or educational disadvantage criteria. If you are eligible and got an ATAR Score between 60 and 69.95 Curtin will automatically bumped up to 70 which is Curtin’s minimum ATAR requirement.

        StepUp Bonus – this depends on the applicant’s eligibility, however this gives them an extra 5 bonus points if their ATAR is above 70.

        Portfolio Entry  – is not only for the creative courses; it is applicable to courses like Education, Science, Commerce and Health.

        Uni Ready Enabling Program – this program is designed to help you gain entry into a range of Health Sciences, Humanities or Curtin Business School undergraduate courses. In terms of the age limit, applicants must be past the compulsory school age (generally that’s about 17 years old).

        Enabling Course in Science, Engineering and Health – this course also has the same age limit as UniReady. Depending on their course weighted average, completion of this program will meet relatively higher entry requirements and subject prerequisites, too.

        Curtin College offers courses that can result in entry to second year of Curtin’s Bachelor degree program.

        Thanks for the update from: Christine Lim Future Student Advisor | Curtin University

        Murdoch University

        Murdoch-University-logoOn Track – a 14 week course that prepares students for entry to a course with a minimum ATAR requirement of 70.

        On Track Sprint – a 4 week course run over the Christmas holidays that may prepare you for entry to a course with a minimum ATAR requirement of 70 or less.

        TLC10 – prepares students to apply for Murdoch through a 1 day per week course that runs all year in Mandurah and Rockingham.

        Portfolio Entry – you can gain entry to courses that rely on creative talent in media, games art and design and creative writing, photography and web communication via a portfolio demonstrating your work + a number of hoops like WACE and English competence. For Portfolio entry try the Domestic Admissions Team on 9360 7458 or send an email by following this link

        Murdoch University Preparation Course – year 11 and 12 courses are combined in this course.

        Email for information.

        Edith Cowan University

        ECUECU Access- Eligible students from identified Western Australian schools will receive an automated ATAR adjustment of up to 10 selection ranks to support the entry of students from areas with educational disadvantage:

        • Eligible students with an ATAR of 60 to 69.95 will receive a selection rank adjustment to 70; and
        • Eligible students with an ATAR of 70 and above will receive a selection rank adjustment of 5 to a maximum ATAR of 90.

        If your school is listed here and you need to find out more, please talk to your school careers adviser or contact the ECU Student Recruitment team on 134 328.

        UniPrep & UniPrep (Education Assistant Program)– This is a 6 month full time course or 12 months part time.

        Portfolio Entry— ECU offers the largest choice of course entry via portfolio.  You need to provide an introductory letter, resume, academic records and references.

        Edith Cowan College– Offers courses that can result in entry to second year of ECU’s Bachelor degree program

        Thanks Lauren Tyler Events Coordinator, Student Recruitment

        University of Western Australia

        UWAUWAY – This is an alternative entry pathway and comprehensive support program for students completing Year 12 under challenging circumstances. The program provides academic, financial and personal support, and it is responsive to individual student needs, throughout their final year of secondary school and during their university studies. You can apply for alternative entry to an undergraduate degree course through UWay if your academic achievements have been adversely affected by certain disadvantages.

        Broadway  – This scheme allows eligible students from a Broadway-identified Western Australian school to receive an automated ATAR adjustment for their application to UWA.

        The Mature Age Access Program allows a mature-aged student with little or no previous background in tertiary study to begin studying under a provisional enrolment without having to meet the standard entry requirements.  Using this program mature-aged students have the opportunity to meet academic and English prerequisites for entry while beginning their course.

        Thanks Philip Sharpe, Future Students Centre, University of Western Australia

        Notre Dame University

        Tertiary Pathway Program – 13 weeks for people who have not met entry requirements.

        Program structure

        Students complete a one-week Learning for University intensive course during Orientation Week. This course is designed to facilitate your transition into university life and must be successfully completed before you progress to the remaining four courses:

        • Academic Writing
        • Communication Skills
        • Essential Maths
        • Research Skills and Information Literacy

        Each faculty has slightly different requirements.

        See details about Student Enabling Programs at the Notre Dame site.


        Central Queensland University


        STEPS (Skills for Tertiary Education Preparatory Studies)

        This program is tailored to help you meet entry requirements or boost your confidence. It usually takes between 1 and 2 terms to complete (4 to 8 months). It can be completed online or on-campus.

        The STEP course is FREE.

        TEP (Tertiary Enabling Program) is an enabling course designed to cater to students of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage.

        Thanks to Sandra Emanuel CQU Marketing Coordinator for the update. 

        Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Entry Pathways

        Aboriginal FlagAll Western Australian universities and TAFE colleges have Indigenous Entry Programs and specialised support to help students to succeed in their studies.



        Vocational Education and Training Pathway

        TAFEStart your degree at TAFE and finish at university.

        TAFE frequently has smaller classes and more practical learning than universities.

        TAFE courses often provide credit points towards degrees. Check your local college for specific courses details. You can arrange an appointment with a college based career advisor to find out what courses you can take and what credits they will give to university.

        North Metro TAFE
        South Metro TAFE
        Central Regional TAFE
        North Regional TAFE
        South Regional TAFE

        If you want to keep up with changes to alternative pathways at all WA universities, subscribe to the In Focus Careers newsletter.

        Contact me at or on M:0434056412