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Whatever you’re interested in, TAFE NSW has a pathway to help you get the job you want.
Get a head start on a career by completing a TAFE NSW vocational education course, either at school or online, or earn while you learn with a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship. You can also do your post-school studies and choose from a diploma, degree or other pathway to university.
This means you’ll be taught by expert teachers with strong industry connections, as well as have access to mentorships, internships and work placements in a real world environment, giving you invaluable experience and a great head start on your career.
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Study - Pathways - Schools - FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
All New South Wales students must complete Year 10 or its equivalent.
The NSW Government requires young people stay at school until they complete Year 10, or until they turn 17 years old - whichever comes first.
Registered home schooling or the completion of a Certificate II course by TAFE NSW, are approved as alternative ways of meeting compulsory education requirements. Taking up an apprenticeship or traineeship is also an approved reason for leaving school.
The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) issues a Record of School Achievement (RoSA) to eligible students who leave school before completing their Higher School Certificate (HSC).
Home schooled students are not issued with a RoSA when they complete their studies.
TAFE NSW issues certificates to students who successfully complete courses.
Students need to be at least 15 years old to enrol at TAFE NSW.
There are some exceptions, such as apprentices and trainees, who can be 14 years and nine months old, or students who gain their principal’s approval, as well as TAFE NSW approval, to participate in a TVET program under the age of 15.
If you are not yet 15 years old, you can speak with the Careers Adviser at your high school, or contact us on 131 601 and ask to be put through to your local TAFE NSW School Relationship Coordinator, to discuss your interests.1
1 Notes for TAFE NSW staff: Students under 18 years of age are required to get written parental/guardian consent for enrolment to proceed. This means a completed enrolment form, with signatures from both the student and parent/guardian, is required.
A parent or guardian’s consent is needed for the use and disclosure of personal information under the Schedule 1, Smart and Skilled Operating Guidelines, as well as assent with the TAFE NSW Enrolment Terms and Conditions.
The DoE defines exceptions where a person under 18 years of age, can be considered to be independent.
If you are 17 years old OR have evidence of your Record of School Achievement (RoSA), you are eligible to study for any nationally recognised TAFE NSW Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification, where you also meet the entry requirements.
You may be eligible for subsidised training at TAFE NSW under Smart and Skilled if you:
- are 17 or have your RoSA (met compulsory education requirements)
- have left school
- and meet the Smart and Skilled eligibility criteria.
TAFE NSW offers hundreds of full time and part time courses. Many courses require little or no prior experience or access to the workplace. Many qualifications are fee-free (subsidised by the NSW Government) and involve work placements to get you on the pathway towards your future career. The course lists on the TAFE NSW website include the courses offered at TAFE NSW, as well as information on entry requirements, fees, and subsidies.
If you have turned 17 and have your RoSA, but are still at school, you may be able to enrol at TAFE NSW as part of your studies. Speak with your school’s Careers Adviser to discuss your options.
Alternatively, you can stay at school and enrol in a course outside of school hours, as long as you:
- meet the entry requirements
- and your school’s principal agrees that it will not interfere with your school work.
However, you will be required to pay the full fee for this course. No concessions or subsidies are available.
Please call 131 601 and ask to speak with your local TAFE NSW School Relationship Coordinator.
If you are 15 or 16 years old and do not have a Record of School Achievement (RoSA), you may still be able to enrol at TAFE NSW, and may be eligible for subsidised training.
Options for you include:
- speaking with your school Careers Adviser to find out about options to stay at school and enrol in a TAFE NSW program offered jointly with your high school (e.g. TVET, SBAT or YES program)
- leaving school to take up a formal apprenticeship or traineeship with TAFE NSW as your RTO
- seeking the approval of your school’s principal, to leave school and complete the Year 10 equivalent via a Certificate II qualification2 at TAFE NSW.
If you would like to stay at school and enrol in a qualification other than TVET or SBAT, you may be able to do so. Your principal will need to confirm that this will not interfere with your school studies. This will require full fee payment, and no concessions or subsidies are available.
Please call 131 601 and ask to speak to your local TAFE NSW school relationship coordinator.
2 It is essential that your Year 10 equivalent application form is approved by your school’s principal and by TAFE NSW, so that your Year 10 equivalent course can be approved for Smart and Skilled subsidised training.
If you are a NESA-registered home schooling student with a current Certificate of Home Schooling Registration, you can apply to enrol in any TAFE NSW course where you meet the foundation requirements.
You can enrol at TAFE NSW and may still be eligible for subsidised training, if your Certificate of Home Schooling Registration expired less than three months ago, and you have applied to have it renewed. You will need to provide your renewed Certificate when it is issued by NESA.
If you would like more information, please email the EducationandTrainingStrategy@tafensw.edu.au.
This section has information on the full range of courses and options for you, if you are under 17 years of age.
You can apply to enrol in the equivalent of Year 10 (Certificate II) at TAFE NSW if you:
- are 15 or 16 years old
- do not have a Record of School Achievement (RoSA)
- not currently attending a NSW school
- and do not have a current NESA Certificate of Home Schooling Registration.
If you are not attending school, we will ask you to take some steps to support your application, including:
- providing your last two school reports and your most recent NAPLAN results, even if they are a few years old
- asking the principal of the last school you attended, to complete the Part B - School section of the equivalent of Year 10 application form, even if you last attended that school some years ago.
If you have been home tutored or home schooled without NESA registration, or your registration has expired, please:
- provide your most recent NESA Certificate of home schooling registration, if you had one
- ask the person who supervises your lessons at home to complete the Part B – School section of the equivalent of Year 10 application form.
You will need to undertake language, literacy, and numeracy testing to ensure that you have the skills to complete the course. If you are having trouble meeting the entry requirements, we will support you in getting the basic training to ensure you can undertake the course.
Please also read 'At what age can I start study at TAFE NSW?' for other conditions of enrolment.
If you have studied TVET programs at school, or have been a School Based Apprentice or Trainee, your study may give you a credit towards other TAFE NSW courses.
If you did not find the information you were seeking, or you would like to discuss an exception to the enrolment scenarios on this page, please contact us on 131 601 and we will redirect your inquiry to the right area.
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