Construction to cooking: VET courses take off at Blackfriars

Increasing numbers of Blackfriars students are getting a head start on their careers while completing their SACE.

In 2024, almost 80 students from Years 10-12 are studying Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, either at Blackfriars or through external training providers.

Among them are Certificate II courses in Electrotechnology, Construction, Engineering, Automotive Servicing and Cookery and Certificate IIIs in Visual Arts – Filmmaking and VFX Foundations and IT.

In addition, two students are undertaking school-based apprenticeships – one in automotive and one in bricklaying – and three Year 12 students have made an early start on their tertiary studies, at Adelaide and Flinders universities.

Director of Teaching, Learning and Pathways Carl Todman chats to students.

“In the past few years, we’ve seen a huge growth in the number of boys studying for a VET qualification while completing their SACE,” Director of Teaching, Learning and Pathways Carl Todman said.

“Last year, 51 boys from the Year 12 cohort completed a VET course as part of their SACE. For most of them, those qualifications were taken into consideration when determining their ATAR.

“We’re pleased to be able to offer a diverse range of learning pathways to assist students in achieving their SACE and get a head start on their career goals.”

Jordan Schrapel – School-based Apprenticeship

Student Jordan Schrapel has started an automotive apprenticeship with CMI Toyota while he completes Year 12.

Jordan – who last year completed a Certificate II in Automotive Servicing Technology – spends two days a week working at CMI.

“I love seeing every side of the workshop, the business and moving into doing my own services,” he said of his work at CMI. “It’s been really good so far.”

He said he CMI and Blackfriars were “very supportive” in ensuring he could work and complete Year 12.

“I could not work a 9-5 job … eight hours a day in front of a computer. I like being on my feet and working with my hands.”

Tai-Son Nguyen – Certificate II in Cookery

Year 11 student Tai-Son is this year studying a Certificate II in Cookery.

He spends one day each week at TAFE’s Regency Park campus, learning basic cookery and food preparation.

Tai-Son – whose dad is a chef and also studied at Regency Park – is considering a career in the kitchen.

“Every week, we cook one or two dishes … and learn skills along the way,” Tai-Son said. “Knife skills, how to make different sauces, the fundamentals of cooking. It’s like MasterChef!”

He encouraged other students to sign up for VET courses.

“There is no harm in trying something new. It just gives you some more options.”

Nathan Bishop – Introduction to Veterinary Nursing

Nathan is only in Year 10, but is already thinking about the future, studying an Introduction to Veterinary Nursing.

“It’s something I am very interested in,” he said.

“I have always loved animals, loved working with them. My goal going through school is to get into a job that I love.

“The thing about VET is that it’s a good way to check to see if this is something that I actually want to do, and it’s come back so positive for me. I’m loving it.”

Nathan spends one day a week at Giles Plains TAFE learning the basic of animal handling and care.

He plans to complete a Certificate II in Animal Care in 2025 and a Certificate II in Animal Care Services while he is in Year 12.

VET courses are nationally accredited qualifications. Completing a VET qualification provides increased opportunity for students to connect with industry and school, ensures the focus and content of training is relevant and that skills are developed to industry standards.

VET qualifications can count towards the completion of SACE and, in certain cases, the calculation of an ATAR. VET courses also articulate into other trade and para-professional qualifications at a higher level after school.

Any Blackfriars students interested in studying a VET course should contact Mr Todman. You can find more about the school’s VET offerings here.

VET courses studied by Blackfriars students in 2024

VET courses (external)

  • Certificate II in Electrotechnology
  • Certificate III in Visual Arts – Filmmaking and VFX Foundations
  • Certificate II in Construction
  • Certificate II in Automotive Servicing
  • Certificate II in Engineering
  • Certificate II in Cookery
  • Certificate III in IT
  • Introduction to Veterinary Nursing

VET courses (at Blackfriars)

  • Certificate III in Sport Coaching
  • Certificate III in Fitness
  • Certificate III in Business

University courses

  • Headstart (Adelaide University
  • Extension Studies (Flinders University)


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