Senior Secondary Schooling Pathways Reform | Constituency Question & Response

Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan):

My constituency question is directed to the Minister for Education, Minister for Mental Health and Deputy Premier, the Honourable James Merlino, MP. My question relates to the portfolio responsibilities of education.

New legislation was introduced in the Parliament to deliver two new avenues for students in their final years of school from 2023. This reform will be providing outstanding education alongside workplace experiences to set students up for further education or employment.

The Victorian certificate of education vocational major is a new two-year vocational pathway program that will replace intermediate and senior VCAL and will be embedded in the VCE system. Students enrolled in this major will have access to an enriched curriculum, which includes practical workplace experiences which are relevant to their career goals. Further, the Victorian pathways certificate will replace foundation VCAL with the intention to support students to transition either to the VCE or to entry level VET or employment.

My question to the minister is: how will this important educational reform be shared with constituents and students in my electorate of the Western Metropolitan Region?

The Andrews Labor government is supporting every Victorian student to get the skills they need for the job they want, whether that’s going on to further education or straight into the workforce.


James Merlino (Deputy Premier, Minister for Education, Minister for Mental Health and Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers) (29 October 2021):

I thank the Honourable Member for the Western Metropolitan region of Victoria for their question. 

In November 2020, the Victorian Government published the final report of The Firth Review. 

This review made fundamental recommendations for our education system, with two key aims: to give all Victorian students access to high-quality vocational and applied learning, and to improve pathways into further education and careers. 

Through the Senior Secondary Schooling Pathways Reform, we are providing students right across the state, with the capabilities needed to meet our dynamic and changing world. 

Alongside our enriching new curriculum that will develop the skills and capabilities to meet industry needs, constituents and students in Western Metropolitan Region, and indeed throughout Victoria, will have access to enhanced career education. 

Ultimately, we want every student to see their skills, attributes, aspirations and achievements as leading them to the careers of the future. 

Further, the Andrews Labor Government is committed to building skills for the modern economy. Thousands of new jobs will rely on VET qualifications, whether that be in community services, construction, and hospitality, to drive our state’s economic recovery. 

That’s why we’re working closely with employers, TAFEs and training institutes, and universities to support innovative vocational courses that meet industry needs and set students up for success.  

Since 2019, this government has invested in transformative career education initiatives that serve as a firm foundation for this reform agenda. Building on this investment, this reform agenda will create a system where school students, no matter where they live, are provided the opportunity to understand their strengths and interests, have access to a wide range of career pathways and receive the right information to help them make informed choices about further study, jobs and their futures.  

That is why these reforms are important, both to the people of the Western Metropolitan region and to people across our state.