What is TAFE and VET?

Content based on information obtained from www.studiesinaustralia.com

What is TAFE?

Technical and Further Education or TAFE institutes are government-owned education providers, offering vocational education and training (VET) courses that range from certificate to postgraduate level.

The TAFE sector is the largest education and training sector in Australia. Each year thousands of international students come to Australia to take advantage of the extensive range of courses and subject areas that provide practical skills and vocational training for a huge variety of careers.

International students enrol in Australian TAFE institutes to:

  • gain practical, work-based skills to improve their employment prospects
  • take advantage of the wide variety of courses on offer
  • enjoy the individual attention that the typically small class sizes allow
  • improve their chances of being accepted into higher education courses.

How is TAFE different to university?

  • TAFE offers practical and hands-on courses that are focused on providing students with the workplace skills and training needed by employers.
  • Facilities and equipment meet industry standards, allowing students to train outside the classroom. The can include facilities and services that are open to the public, such as training restaurants or beauty salons.
  • Courses are designed to meet the needs of each specific industry.
  • TAFE courses often include opportunities to complete on-the-job training through work experience or placements.
  • Courses range from Certificates to Bachelor Degrees, as well as English language courses and secondary school studies.
  • Courses are more accessible, with fewer (and lower) entry requirements than universities.
  • Effective study pathways to university.

What is VET?

Vocational Education and Training (VET) is education and training that focuses on providing skills for work. Thousands of courses are available through the VET sector in Australia. Qualifications gained through the VET system can lead to a variety of diverse and exciting careers.

VET provides the skills to help people to:

  • join the workforce for the first time
  • re-join the workforce after a break
  • upgrade skills in their chosen field
  • move into a different career.

Who offers VET?

VET courses are primarily offered by Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), which include TAFE institutes. Each Australian state or territory registers these organisations to:

  • provide quality training
  • deliver courses developed with industry
  • issue a nationally recognised qualification.

CIT is a registered RTO. You can find a list of other registered RTOs on the My Skills website.

RTOs that wish to offer courses to international students must also register with the Australian Government’s Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). This register allows the government to monitor the education offered to international students in Australia and ensure that it is of a consistently high quality.

CIT courses for international students are CRICOS registered.

How do VET courses differ to higher education courses?

VET courses cover:

  • life skills, even literacy and numeracy training (such as pre-vocational training or foundation studies)
  • vocational skills for particular occupations (such as floristry and automotive)
  • semi-professional vocational training (such as business advertising, and occupational health and safety)
  • study areas with a practical focus (such as viticulture, music and hospitality).

Courses and qualifications

The types of qualifications that are delivered through the VET sector by a TAFE institute include:

  • Certificate I-IV
  • Diploma
  • Advanced diploma
  • Vocational graduate certificate/diploma

Other courses may include:

  • Bachelor degrees
  • English language courses