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Home » Education Advice » Is VCAL over? The 2023 changes to Senior Secondary Study in Victoria

Is VCAL over? The 2023 changes to Senior Secondary Study in Victoria


Victoria is changing to a new senior secondary certificate in 2023, which will be fully integrated in all Victorian schools by 2025.

The changes combine the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) and Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL). The new senior secondary school certificates aim to ensure every young Victorian receives the education for their desired career.

“We know not everyone wants to go to university so we’re making sure every young person has every opportunity to choose the career path that’s right for them.”

Daniel Andrews, Premier of Victoria

How do the 2023 changes to Senior Secondary Study in Victoria work?

From 2023, VCAL will be replaced with the new ‘VCE Vocational Major and Victorian Pathways Certificate’.

The transition process is taking place through two main stages.

Stage One: 2023

VCE Vocational Major (VM)

From 2023, Intermediate and Senior VCAL will be replaced with the new ‘VCE Vocational Major’ (VM).

The VM is a ‘vocational and applied learning program’, within the VCE.

This will provide students with flexibility to pursue apprenticeships, traineeships, further education and training, non-ATAR university pathways or enter straight into the workforce.

Specific studies will include:

Victorian Pathways Certificate (VP)

Foundation VCAL will be replaced by the new ‘Victorian Pathways Certificate (VPC)’. This is designed to help students transition into the VCE Vocational Major or entry-level VET employment.

This is suitable for students who have had disrupted schooling experiences and are at risk of disengaging from their education. This may include students who have missed significant learning or students with additional needs.

Stage Two: 2025

These changes will amount to a fully integrated ‘senior secondary certificate’ by 2025.

Most non-government schools have begun preparing for the transitioning process.

The Catholic and independent sectors have shown a strong interest as non-government schools are encouraged and supported to provide the new certificates.

What do the 2023 changes to Senior Secondary Study in Victoria mean for parents?

The Victoria State Government announced that the changes may save Victorian families up to $1000 in ‘out-of-pocket’ costs.

Students are no longer required to pay for VET studies learning materials.

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Why are the 2023 changes to Senior Secondary Study in Victoria occurring?

Increased demand for Trades and Services

The Victorian Budget is investing $277.5 million to cater to the increased demand for careers in trades and services.

Careers in trades and services are just that – careers – with good pay, and secure jobs. And they’re the jobs we need people doing.

Daniel Andrews, Premier of Victoria

Providing an opportunity for kids to work towards a different pathway.

The real-life experience equips students for an understanding of potential future career pathways.

“We know not everyone wants to go to university so we’re making sure every young person has every opportunity to choose the career path that’s right for them.”

Daniel Andrews, Premier of Victoria

The Minister for Education, James Merlino believes the pathway has the same value as other post-secondary options.

“Study towards the important jobs that build and care for our state has the same value as any other education after school – and more young Victorians than ever before are pursuing careers in booming trades and services.”

 

Faster pathway to apprenticeship and jobs

The new program allows students to complete their senior secondary study whilst learning vocational skills.

Students will no longer have to wait till after high school or drop out to prepare for career pathways after school.

Transitioning into the 2023 changes to Senior Secondary Study in Victoria

Students in 2022 are not subject to the changes to the existing certificate. They are still able to enrol in the VCAL or VCE.

Current students undergoing VCAL units may receive credit for the VM or VPC in 2023.

Summary of the 2023 changes to Senior Secondary Study in Victoria

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