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Vocational education

Vocational education and training (VET) is "education and training for work" and part of a broader educational network in Australia that includes schools, universities and adult and community education. At Mackay Northern Beaches State High School, students may access a range of VET qualifications through the school as we are a Registered Training Organisation (RTO), TAFE and private VET providers.

Why VET?

VET can cater to all senior students: those seeking university entrance, those seeking employment-specific skills and those at risk of not completing their schooling.

  • VET provides learning opportunities beyond the traditional curriculum.
  • Assessment in VET meets industry standards.
  • Having work-related skills makes students more employable.

How is VET offered at Mackay Northern Beaches SHS?


Students can study the following qualifications:

  • Certificate I in Construction
  • Certificate I in Engineering
  • Certificate I in Business
  • Certificate I in Information, Digital Media and Technology
  • Certificate II in Business
  • Certificate II in Tourism
  • Certificate II in Hospitality
  • Certificate II in Visual Arts
  • Certificate II in Creative Industries (Media)
  • Certificate II in Information Digital Media & Technology
  • Certificate II in Engineering Pathways
  • Certificate II in Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways
  • SIS20115 Certificate II in Sport and Recreation   
  • CHC30113 Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care
  • SIS30315 Certificate III in Fitness

Partnership with Schools (PWS)

Mackay Northern Beaches State High School is delivering and assessing students completing the SIS20115 Certificate II in Sport and Recreation and SIS30315 Certificate III in Fitness on behalf of CQUniversity.  CQUniversity (Registered Training Organisation, RTO Provider Number 40939) is responsible for enrolling students and issuing Statement of Attainments and Awards for eligible students.  Further information about CQUniversity and these courses can at:

SIS20115 Certificate II in Sport and Recreation is proudly funded by the State Government under their VET in Schools initiative and there is no student fees applicable to eligible students.
SIS30315 Certificate III in Fitness is not funded under the State Government VET in Schools initiative.  Student fees are to be collected by the School prior to commencement of training.


Mackay Engineering College (MEC) will provide Certificate II in Engineering Pathways to our students via the Engineering Pathways Program.

School-based apprenticeships and traineeships (SATs)

SATs allow students to work for an employer and train towards a recognised qualification under contract of training while completing their school studies. Students whose SAT is not completed by the time they finish Year 12 may convert to a full-time or part-time apprenticeship or traineeship.

VET and the Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE)

Certificate I

Most Certificate I 's are worth two credits towards a QCE. There is no limit to the number of Certificate I qualifications a student can gain, but only two may count towards a QCE.

Certificate I in Construction and Certificate I in Engineering are both worth 3 credit points and take the two years of year 11 and 12 to complete.

Certificates II, III and IV

A Certificate II is worth four credits towards a QCE, while most Certificates III and IV are worth eight credits. There is no limit on the number of Certificates II, III and IV that may contribute to a QCE.

VET and tertiary entrance

Authority subjects with embedded VET may be used in the calculation of Overall Positions (OPs) and Field Positions for tertiary entrance purposes. If a school student is ineligible for an OP, VET at Certificate III level and school-based apprenticeships and traineeships may be used to calculate a Tertiary Entrance Rank.

Engineering Pathways Program (EPP) in conjunction with MEC

Students are able to apply to be part of the Engineering Pathways Program. This involves them completing an application form, available from MNBSHS VET Coordinator.

The format of the course is centred on the completion of Certificate II Engineering Pathways delivered by the MEC situated on the CQU Mackay campus. This is a once a week commitment as well as a commitment to engage in regular industry placement throughout the year. Additional costs are associated with the program and are outlined in the application package.

By completing this course successfully, they will be eligible for 27 QCE credit points.

Students in a VET Course at MNBSHS

At the commencement of a VET subject, students are inducted into the VET procedures, this includes being given a paper copy of the Student Handbook, the Course Overview with all competencies listed on it (to be glued into their GoldBook) as well as participating in an induction session which verbally outlines all necessary procedures and expectations of them as well as us, the RTO.