TAFE NSW website

TAFE - Print Version

School to TAFE

Are you still at school or about to leave? If you're not sure what you want to do next then a course or program at TAFE NSW can help you into a great future career.

Still at school?

Get ready for work while you're still at school. Our programs for school students give you a head start with work skills – and can also count towards your Higher School Certificate:

  • TVET courses – TAFE delivered vocational education and training (TVET) courses give you workforce skills and count towards your HSC (you can also gain credit towards a TAFE NSW qualification)
  • School-based apprenticeships or traineeships – These combine paid work, training and school (for more information visit the School-Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships website)

Under 17 and want to leave school?

If you're under 17 and want to leave school, NSW law now says you must still complete Year 10 and then continue in either full-time education, training, paid work or a combination of these until you turn 17.

By completing Year 10 now, you'll have more opportunities for a better education, more training and work experience later on – more choices, in other words, for life after school.

Once you've completed Year 10 you can:

  • Stay at school to complete Years 11 and 12
  • Do a full-time course at TAFE NSW or another Registered Training Organisation (RTO)
  • Get a full-time job
  • Take up an apprenticeship or traineeship
  • Undertake a combination of work and study that adds up to a full-time workload

In exceptional circumstances you may be able to study a course equivalent to Year 10 with us. You'll need to discuss this with your school principal, who must approve your formal application.

Completed your HSC?

If you've completed or are about to complete your Higher School Certificate (HSC), we can offer you:

  • Full-time and part-time courses in a huge range of careers to give you the workplace skills and qualifications employers are looking for
  • Diploma and Advanced Diploma courses that provide credit towards a university course
  • Apprenticeships and traineeships, which combine formal studies with work and on-the-job training
  • Pre-apprenticeship courses that give you skills to help you into the workforce
  • Recognition of prior learning gained through TVET, other HSC studies and employment

Ask your school careers advisor or a TAFE NSW Counsellor to help you select a course to start your career. TAFE NSW course selection is not based on an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR).

Find a course to match your skills

Different courses at TAFE NSW have different entry requirements. Many require little or no work experience or access to the workplace – and for some, you don't have to have completed a previous TAFE NSW course. Choose a course that suits your experience and learning needs.

Credit for what you've studied at school

Some of your school subjects and courses can give you credit towards your TAFE NSW qualification.

School subjects for which you may gain recognition include:

  • TVET studies (nationally recognised units from Training Packages or Accredited Courses)
  • HSC subjects developed by the NSW Board of Studies in a range of industry areas (you'll need to show you have successfully completed these in the last five years and then discuss with TAFE staff what credit they earn you towards the course you're interested in)

For advice on credit for your school studies contact your local Institute and speak to the Course Information Officer.

You may be able to use your previous study and other evidence of your knowledge, skills and experience to gain Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for credit towards one of our courses. Under RPL your formal and informal learning are assessed to see whether you can meet competency standards.